“Another Ginger Grant” by Bill Hollands

You hit your head and when you wake up
you think you’re Ginger. You rehearse lines. You wear
leopard-skin dresses. The other castaways
want you to be Mary Ann again. They don’t say
why. They try hypnosis but that makes Gilligan
think he’s Mary Ann. They come up with a plan—
they’ll ask you to put on a show! The professor says
As Ginger she’ll want to perform but underneath as Mary Ann
she’ll know she can’t. This will create a tremendous
conflict in her mind, and the real world of Mary Ann
will push out the dream world of Ginger, and Mary Ann
will become Mary Ann again. The show

begins. You wear a blue sequin dress, diamond drop
earrings, a white feather boa. You sing I wanna be loved
by you, just you and nobody else but you. I wanna be
loved by you, alone, boop-boop-a-doop. But you’re off
key. The castaways cringe, the laugh track plays,
the plan is working! You forget the words, your eyes
full of panic as I take it all in after school
from my living room floor. Maestro, would you start
the record again please? Maybe if I just dance it
I’ll be alright. You dance but it’s all wrong. You trip
on the feather boa, fall, and hit your head.
You wake up, you’re Mary Ann, what a drag.

Bill Hollands is a teacher and poet in Seattle, where he lives with his husband and their son. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rattle, DIAGRAM, The American Journal of Poetry, Hawai`i Pacific Review, The Account, The Summerset Review, and elsewhere. He was recently named a finalist for North American Review‘s James Hearst Poetry Prize.

Image: TV Guide, January 23, 1965

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