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First Dance
by Lori Williams

Swaying my hips to the music of my youth
I begin to remember

a thick summer night
when I wore hot pants
and a paint free smile,
when the days were endless
and tomorrow seemed
a thousand miles away,
and I sway,
and the rhythm
reminds me

of a blue-eyed boy with hair the color
of butterscotch pudding,
awkwardly holding me
as we learned to dance.
We learned that skin could
touch and stick and pulse and shock
as we danced the night away
and I sway,
and this freedom
reminds me

of that hot summer night
when we learned how breath
could catch so differently
than after playing tag,
and we found our steps
as our hearts fumbled.

My hips move to the memories
as my painted mouth smiles.
I am young again,
at least until the music ends.
Sometimes, that is enough.

Water Lilies

Up in the mountains
on a lake called Luzerne
float thousands of lilies.
A garden in water! Magic!

As a child I would holiday
there, a log cabin my paradise.
A city girl, I knew little of wooden
beams, roasting marshmallows or lilies.
A new way of life. A new kind of love.

Waking to the aroma of those flowers,
as our cabin was a mere skip from
the lake, captured my childlike awe
each morning. No New York fumes, these.
Lilies on a lake! Amazing.

Their perfume so pungent, that
even my mother's Tabu faded
to a soft scent. I rowed a boat
into their midst each day,
simply to be with them.

Dad made me a fishing pole out of a
branch. Twisted and gnarly. Perfect!
Bologna was my bait. We fished
for sunnies. Secretly, I was trying for a lily.
I would have thrown either back in.

Their colours were deep and rich
pinks, yellows and snow whites
and upon the blueness of the lake
they glistened like diamonds on velvet.
I dreaded going home.

Each summer I returned once again
to the lake and my lilies, and each
summer it was more difficult to leave.
Yes, they were mere flowers, but magical.
They grew out of the water!

All these years later, their redolence remains
in my memory, their essence in my heart.
As I walked a busy NYC street recently,
I was stopped in my tracks.
I smelled water lilies!

Was it real, or was it perhaps
my yearning to go back to an innocent time,
when something as simple as a flower
could make me believe in magic
and could fill my heart with such love.

I'm not sure I want to know.

I Walk the Sand

I walk the sand - yellow, hot, forever,
so unlike the sunshine that graced us
when all was flowery sentiment
and cool, cotton sheets
tangled between our thighs.

I was your unique bouquet -
pink lips, red hair, fuscia lust,
artistically arranged just so
in bone, muscle and soft skin
by the hands of fate,
or so you said.

You thought my essence ambrosia.
I believed your promises true.

I feel our grace slip away
as grains flow between toes
and flowers die
in the hot, yellow sand.


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