Poetry: An Old Dancer’s Memories of Youth by David L O’Nan

Ballet Dancer, Ballet, Old-Fashioned

An Old Dancer’s Memories of Youth

In a melting synthetic glow
Eyes shallow, following shadows 
Crying in the underbelly of the circus 
Dancing on top of a burning cloud
Dancing over the feet of fools, 
clinging to their sticky bodies with your clammy hands. 
Your smooth swaying hands
You old, dancing spirit
Born several years after the year of desire

Remember those top hat daddies and the beer stench cigars Tattered clothes that rip from the dance
In the mornings you would awake nude in the arms of a hairy giant
Those nights before you went to sleep held tightly in the drunk arms of a dwarf.
You poked your head out of the bathroom
Then you smiled, your short red curly hair popping around your head
Dancing scantily  in  a  plaid  swimsuit, 
talking  like  Ann-
Margret
“Who wants a classy lady?”
“Who dares to want the R-rated femme?”

Remember all the phone calls from the gentlemen, 
the doo- hickeys, the born out of the trash bins
The bruised greasers with the cologne smells?
Oh, now remember then the tire swing, 
tied  around a 
weathered tree in your grandparent’s yard?
You rolled around in the clover, 
looked eye to eye with a monarch butterfly.
You asked if it had ever met Cinderella before 
You tried to kiss it when the dinner bell rang

Mmmm…cold cuts, mashed potatoes, chug-a-lug milk, 
Corn beef hash & hot muffins
Grandpa has outdone himself again
Scrappy and toasty he was in his chicken feather kitchen 
Grandma singing Bessie Smith to an owl magnet -
on the
 fridge
Remember all those circus clown Uncles 
who used to eat the peanut butter straight from the mason jars, drank all the whiskey?

That one who told you that you were sprouting a hint of a mustache even though you were pre-pubescent.
You rushed to your ghost filled room, 
and smoked your 4th ever cigarette
Flicking ashes at the dog you hated You put on your ballerina shoes
And there you are again, you dancer, you movie star 
Dancing into the toyboxes filled with teddy bears with
cheese stained hair.

Bruising your knees even more
Tap into the kitchen, breathing maple syrup air, 
burnt pancakes on the kitchen counter.
You’re too busy drawing freckles on the ugly baby dolls and hiding from the chattering echoes surrounding the kitchen table.
You borrowed your cousin’s little red wagon to push around
the dog that you liked
The golden retriever pup you named Baryshnikov.

That same red wagon you pushed your little boyfriends in,
sharing M&M’s
The same red wagon you procured from the cellar on a drunken night or two in the teenage years
Pushed hormone driven pimp wannabes in, calling them assholes.

Remember telling stories to the rest of the crowds in the bars?
Telling them how much you hate life after 30
But, then how much you loved beating the infancy, 
the illnesses of an earlier mind
That belched out maturity and left only a toothless smile with knowledge.
And how much you enjoyed each Summertime tan despite how much your skin became leather.

How you rediscovered your gift of dancing as you began dropping your credit cards into the laps of thieves.
They made sure they took you home on those nights,
To take advantage of a liquored dream.
Meanwhile the dancing was more like a scene from Grey Gardens.
A truck driver would chew on a peppered steak stick 
and hoot and holler.

But, they were just a heart juggler
Played with fire while you dreamt in gold.
So, was it worth it?
Dropping tears into the stale cotton candy 
As the curtain closes
All the rings will fade to black 
The spotlight is on you
Dance away or act shy, it’s your final call.

 “Before the Bridges Fell” by me David L O’Nan Poetry book is out today on Cajun Mutt Press 

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now! 

Poem “Alone In My Car” by David L O’Nan

EIC: David L O’Nan is the Saturday Feature on Cajun Mutt Press with old storytelling poetry

Bio: David L O'Nan is a poet, short story writer, editor living in Southern Indiana.  He is the editor for the Poetry & Art Anthologies "Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art. and has also edited & curated other Anthologies including 2 inspired by Leonard Cohen and an upcoming one inspired by Bob Dylan. He has self-published works under the Fevers of the Mind Press "The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers" "The Cartoon Diaries" & "New Disease Streets" (2020). A compilation of 4 books "Bending Rivers" a micro poem collection "Lost Reflections" and new book "Before the Bridges Fell" (look under books tab in Amazon) under Cajun Mutt Press & "His Poetic Last Whispers" (2022)  David has had work published in Icefloe Press, Dark Marrow, Truly U, 3 Moon Magazine, Elephants Never, Royal Rose Magazine, Spillwords, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Voices From the Fire.  Twitter is @davidLONan1 and for the book @feversof     Join Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group .   Facebook Author page DavidLONan1   and goodreads page is https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18366060.David_L_O_Nan 







By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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