Friday, April 2, 2010

Poetry Friday


“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

suddenly faded,

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.


Ann Finkelstein said...


Mary Lee said...

I'm with you -- how could the tango be boring!?!

Glad the fears have abated, if not become befriended.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

This is really touching. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Laura said...

Good ear for dialogue! I enjoyed this poem.

Laura Evans
all things poetry

dianne said...

Lovely. I like the way your poem took me on a journey with surprising twists and turns. The tango, boring?? Wonderful surprise there!

Anonymous said...

Like Dianne, I enjoyed the twists and turns and surprise in this poem.

Suzanne Klein said...

Thank you for a wonderful poem. I'm glad the sparkle is back.