New Year's Dancer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   new year's dancer

i press the rewind button of my mind
and i pause on
new year's eve. 1988.
(was it that long ago? i guess)
and i am wondering
on earth
i am stuck in this
with no one
but my family, my grandmother,
her friend Deal and assorted other senior citizens.
but i am only 11 and in the wrong town
so i couldn't find any parties.
i am wondering this
it becomes your turn
to dance with the new year's baby!
(kind of corny, i realize, but it was cute)
we sit in our chairs,
my mother, my father, Tim, and i,
content to watch you laugh
& have the time of your life.
i am wondering no longer.
when we return home
i beg & plead
please let me stay up and watch that ball
OK, you relent
but at 11 or so
you are gently shaking me awake
i wasn't sleeping, i protest
but you insist i go to bed.
i lie and say
i'm not really tired
but we can both see behind my words.
so i retire.
now it's time once again
for that ball to fall.
please watch it with me, gram.
60 ... 59 ... 58 ...
gram, where are you?
36 ... 35 ... 34 ...
gram, please wake up!
3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
it's a new day, a new year
but how can i celebrate
when my new year's dancer
is sleeping
(gram, i miss you)

by L. F., Concord, MA

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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