when youth was her best
accessory, when sheís standing

on the dance floor, beautiful and alone.
She is waiting there

in black and white, the way
I have seen her in photographs.

Right about now, my father
comes in, nervous

and white-faced as the moon.
Of course, he, too, is posed,

his better side
pushed forward in my mind.

Only this time, there is something
I havenít seen before;

maybe itís the August heat
that is making him sweat,

or the curve
of my motherís right hip

as she stands there, swaying
in place. He is wearing

the look of a man
whoís convinced

he may never think straight again.
Dumbstruck, until

the music thuds him on the back
like an older brother,

when he takes that first
step towards her

and I am about to begin.

Francine Witte: is a poet, playwright and fiction writer living in New York City. Her flash fiction has appeared in Doorknobs and BodyPaint, in posse review, slow trains literary journals as well as numerous print journals. Her flash fiction chapbook, The Wind Twirls Everything was published by MuscleHead Press, a division of Boneworld Publishing in Russell, NY. Her poetry chapbook, The Magic in the Streets was published by Owl Creek Press as first prize winner of their chapbook contest. She has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont, SUNY Binghamton and Vermont College. She teaches English at Norman Thomas High School in mid-town Manhattan. Please visit her website -- frangirl.com.

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