My Mother the Dancer

A poem.

My Mother the Dancer Louie Prima, Fats Domino, ­Rosemary Clooney, she piled
high the 45s, grabbed the mop she called her honey
and began upstairs, singing and swinging it
across the floor, dipping low to reach under the beds,
shaking it out the window, ­swiping
her dust cloth across the dressers, picking
up a stray sock or underwear, circling
through the three bedrooms and down
the stairs, moving as though a curtain had opened
to one of those Hollywood ­musicals
she dragged us to at the Rialto, pulling me by the arm
out of the chair I was sunken into, twirling me
once or twice around her, that red bandanna
in her black hair as she danced toward my brother,
urging him into the sunlight ­slanting through the window.
Paul Martin

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