“Had my dance class last night.”
The woman’s voice carried in from the hall
over the steady, irregular beeping
of the monitors and machines
hooked up to my father.
With my body parked
in the discomfort of a vinyl chair
and running after sleep
like a blind woman chasing butterflies,
I couldn’t help but listen in.
“We did the tango,” said the voice. A nurse, perhaps,
but not one I’d met. Maybe a student?
An intern? A visitor? No face, no clue –
just the sudden image of the drama
of the tango. The dance that in the back
of our minds we can’t help believing, someday,
we will try. Rose and all.
“How’d it go?” came another voice.
I closed my eyes. Tried to find a rhythm
in the erratic beeping. Breathe, I whispered.
“It was actually kind of…
My own breath gave way and I nearly
laughed out loud. Could it truly be so?
The tango –
“The world’s a surprising and mysterious place,”
I said aloud to the butterflies,
with an amused shake of my head. At least I think
that's what I said. But maybe it wasn't that.
Maybe it was,
“I love my Dad.
Don’t let him die.”
Hard to say at this point. The crisis
has passed. The sparkle
is back in his eyes. My fears
are duller now,
all but befriended.
Yet for that moment,
that spotlit moment when all my beliefs
the part of me that doesn’t dance,
and never will,
was glad to be heard.
For more Poetry Friday poems and discussion, head over to Book Aunt for the round-up.