the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night




Wilda Gallagher

When We Were Young

When Mom and Dad were young
They had such spirit. I recall
Him dancing her around the floor,
Her, laughing with her dress up,
Showing lace and skin,
And spinning as the music played again.

Enraged, I fled to their embrace
To pry them loose. They pulled me in,
And then we danced around, the three of us,
Until their smells engulfed me,
Made me drunken, I remember
Just the three of us,
With twilight from the window streaming in.
I remember it as now, but it was then.

Mercy to the mother and the father they became,
And mercy to the people we become.
If melody embraced us once, oh, let it play again,
To entrance us in a dance that never ends;
To trace again in memory
The patterns on the floor where once we spun,
When Mom and Dad and I were young.

(Winner, fourth place, NFSPS Founders Award, 2006)



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