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Movement

My first memory

Moving through Publix on my daddy’s shoulder

My stick-straight straw hair

Mixing with his brown curls

Watching everyone behind me

Grab their ramen noodles

And pay for their cigarettes

I didn’t need money

Then.

His hairy arms supported

My back, toying with my new shoes

That Grandma got on sale at Penny’s

He wasn’t talking to me

His words were for my mother

Or whoever was in front of him

But I was content

To listen to the steady hum

Of his bass voice

Creating the music

For our dance

As his footsteps thudded into the floor,

Jostling me, bumping me

As I danced

He spun me around on white tile floors

Laughing as I grabbed my toes

Twirling on my butt

I never liked my feet

But I respected them

For they bore the scars

Of ballet shoes

Of tap shoes

Of jazz shoes

And countless other shoes

Signifying

Sedulous

Dance.

I am always moving something

My brain

My body

Moving to a steady beat

That only the two of us hear

Humming

Rocking back and forth

Numbing myself to the world

I find my happy place

Leaping through the air

In wooden shoes

As his blue eyes smile at me

From the crowd

Singing 80’s songs

After baths

Throwing me into the air,

Helping me touch the ceiling

And my dreams

Sashaying

Twirling

Swinging

He is always happy

And ready

To dance with me

My favorite partner

I was happiest on his shoulder

Thumb in my mouth, head leaning against his

When I was small enough

To be swept up in two seconds

He never complained

Never told me I was too heavy

His footsteps thudded out

A rhythm in my brain

Hypnotizing me into sleep’s black cloak

His napping technique.

His arms are too sore

To lift me up

And my ballet shoes

Lie behind wooden closet doors

Exchanged for soccer cleats

But he’s still dancing

Twirling me in his arms

To a beat

Only we

Can hear.





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