may i have this dance?

i never had my dance card stolen.

i never had a dance card.

cotillions, none.

balls, none.


my dad drops me off at junior prom

in our high school cafeteria in a

culpeper county cow pasture.


the theme’s an enchanted evening.

my corsage is a lone orchid.


years earlier, dad teaches me

the philadephia swing.

nervous, i miss a beat and

step on his foot.

impatient and pained,

he proclaims i can’t dance.


i will not dance for years.


my new husband, as we wait for old friends,

puts his hand out to me and asks shyly,

“may i have this dance?”


and, he twirls and dips me into eternity.


my corsage is happiness.


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