learning to twirl

Poem #13 from The Book of Evenings

Listen to Frank read  learning to twirl – in Spoken Word format on SoundCloud

Back to: The Book of Evenings – Introduction

I don’t think I was such a bad husband
not really
no worse than the rest
that much is sure
probably the dancing
gave a clue

oh sorry
I was just thinking a minute

you know none of the boys
that I grew up with
could dance

it’s funny
my mother and my sister
both tried their damnedest to teach me
to waltz and fox-trot and what-have-you
they loved being able to dance
and my mother told me
it would be important to me in my life
but I’d have none of that
felt there was something embarrassing about it

we sort of danced when we were courting
cramped floors where we mostly clung
for dear life
like a pair of startled bunnies
and because being so close
felt pretty wonderful
but after we married
not really

sometimes we’d be somewhere
with a band playing
and she’d say let’s dance
not necessarily waltz
often it was the modern all-arms-and-legs stuff
but I couldn’t do it
unless I’d had a skinful

I changed you know
made a decision sometime or other
that I’d do it
get up and dance no matter how silly I felt
was too late though and she wasn’t interested anymore
I think I’d broken her of any desire
and looking back
we were probably already buggered by then anyway
waiting for the last rites

I think
at least I wonder sometimes
if me not dancing had something to do with it
maybe that was enough
in a way
to make me a bad husband
to mark me

it’s history now
isn’t it
would you care for a twirl?

© Frank Prem 2003

The Book of Evenings Poem #14: a pride in hands

10 thoughts on “learning to twirl

  1. I love these poems of yours that are little short stories and worlds, with interesting characters and even subplots. The dancing is great on a literal and metaphorical level. And I think it’s a happy ending that he finally decided to give dancing a go. Life goes on, and so do new relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. such a bittersweet ode to marriage! All the little misreadings leading to missed opportunities. I am still a great lover of getting out on the dance floor, especially for the arms and legs kind, my husband less so…

    Liked by 1 person

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