Dream Dance I
Already in her flannel pajamas, she lounges on her comfort couch, wasting a night, alone. Her place in the romantic novel lost so many times she can no longer track the plot. The radio blares background noise to soften the discomforting emptiness until a waltz filters through the speakers, fills her ears, hooks her, pulling her attention away from the book to the music. Um-pa-pa, um-pa-pa, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh the choral singers harmonize. She rises to her feet, closing her eyes to find the rhythm — 1-2-3, 1-2-3, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh she hums as she moves freely around the room, raising her arms to encircle and hold the hand of her imaginary partner.
Dream Dance II
Oh, fortuitous discovery! What a joy! -- to be lifted up out of the doldrums in this way! She beams at her image in the mirror as she brushes her hair, polishes her teeth. The radio closed in preparation for bed, but somehow the music plays on in her head. Pulling the covers over her, she lies, blissfully ensconced, her arms wrapped around her torso. Soundlessly she hums the tune. The dance lingers until she falls into a gap between this world and the next, a fantasy web of her own making. So alive! Her body moving in her sleep, her eyes to and fro in their sockets, a smile spreading gently across her face.
In the Aftermath
I look away to curse into the wind for my perceived mistreatment. The insults made worse for their indirectness, vague enough to allow deniability. Propriety banned discussion. All were voiceless. Insults souring like a battered green grape, clearly someone had said something, aided and abetted by the muted hush of the whole. History hints sharply, at first jab no pain is felt, but on the out-thrust the jagged edge lags, curdling the innards. Still we acclimate to the challenge, rationalizing the injury. Harmless play, perhaps a ploy for attention. It drew no blood, bore no scab, left no scar, would heal to invisibility. In time would be wholly forgotten. In the aftermath of blunder and bust, curled in the nook of one’s own lair, in the quell of quietude a certitude arises; banishment can be worn as a badge of honor. Spring green erases winter white, points to an opening, to the rays of light that pierce the cloud cover. The flicker of orange-tipped flames warm the inner hearth, coaxing the heart to find the rhythm again.
Dennis DuBois holds a Master’s Degree in social work, and has worked to help others for decades, while writing poems along the way. He has published poems in Bee Museum, Curved House, The Projectionist’s Playground, Runcible Spoon, Verse News, and Message in Bottle. He is an American expatriate, living in Copenhagen.