The Pauline Dance

April 11, 2015

I watched this lithe girl and I fell in her trance
As she whirled and cartwheeled in her Pauline’s Dance
She pressed me to her body, whispered, “Take a chance,”
And we did

There was the smell of wildflowers and Queen Ann’s Lace
And the color of the dark of the moon in her face
When she gave me her pale body as a resting place
It was soft

Then she was with child, we exchanged clover rings
Our friends gave us infant clothes and rattley things
And we gave us our bodies and made baby names:
Jasmine or James

On a hot August night she awoke in our bed
And she screamed—the mattress was soaked crimson red
And I gave of my body to our baby dead
And still

In fall, a grim reaper paid a visit to her
And she grew horribly thin, she could barely stir
And I would give her my body as a holy shelter
And cry

In the dead of brittle winter, in ice and white snow
We buried her body in the wildflower meadow
And I gave her my body’s long, weeping shadow
And mourned

I write this poem as an old man and bent
My body bruised, broken from a life well spent
And her body feeds wildflowers and succulents
And senses

And they Pauline Dance.

To the memory of Pauline Whelan

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