Monday, February 13, 2012


artwork: ralph murre

Dance Man
by June Nirschl

danced with every woman, danced every dance –
polka , waltz . schottische . . . excelling at the polka
no one faster or more joyful
yip . . . yip . . . yip
swirling in a mist of blue cigarette smoke
glare of naked bulbs like a dozen pseudo moons
girls glittering this night with ribbons and satin
headbands holding marcelled hair in place
light glancing off
bottles of Corby’s and nickel glasses of beer
hardwood floor cleared and waxed
sawdust scattered to ease
the dancers’ rounds
first notes of music drawing young women
edging young women toward the floor
concertina rallying rhythm
drummer hitting cymbals hard
Depression day faded and Depression night
became a magic place where Prince Charming
moved with confidence, spoke without stammer
with his dancing feet ruled a minor principality;
his eyes assessed each potential princess
before sauntering toward three young ladies
who, self-conscious, tugged at their dresses,
they on tenterhooks waiting for the invitation
to spin across the floor firmly guided
kindly held by this country boy gone city,
this guy with moonlight in his eyes
who chose a rose by any other name.

~ previously published in Slightly Off Q (Marsh River Editions)