The voice of Judy Collins

The voice of Judy Collins plain and powerful comes from the tape player across the room while I lay looking at plastic stars taped to the ceiling, glow-in-the-dark. I am in bed, not falling asleep. The voice of Judy Collins sings five songs, then the player clunks and the tape hiss quits. I get out of bed and flip the tape to the other side, six songs. Words I know by heart. I also know most people my age listen to pop from now, not folk from twenty years ago, but I don’t feel strange. It is true, but not something I know, that the voice of Judy Collins is what my mother’s voice would sound like if she were to sing, if my mother were to stand in front of people and sing from behind long hair and a white dress. Those are the songs she would sing and how she would sing them, if she ever raised her voice.

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