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It’s finally dawned on me after 60 weeks of Friday Favorites that I’m going to run across some poets I like more than once. Duh! My dilemma was to repeat a poet or continue looking for new ones. Well, (in an all-out effort to live a more balanced life – ha, ha!) I’ve decided to do both. So today I want to post another poem by Joseph joseph-stroud-lg-730x315Stroud. If you wish to know a little bit about him, you can find his brief bio and the first poem I posted of his here, “Knots.”

The poem for today struck my fancy not so much for what Stroud thought as he was looking “back at the beginning” from HIS perspective, but because I wondered what the MOTHERS were thinking about as they watched their kids dancing. Maybe their OWN songs?

Perhaps Stroud and his young friends were dancing to something like this:

Homage: Doo Wop
Joseph Stroud

There’s so little sweetness in the music I hear now,
no croons, no doo-wop or slow ones where you could
hug up with someone and hold them against your body,
feel their heart against yours, touch their cheek
with your cheek–and it was ok, it was allowed,
even the mothers standing around at the birthday party,
the rug rolled back in the living room, didn’t mind
if you held their daughters as you swayed to the music,
eyes squeezed shut, holding each other, and holding on
to the song, until you almost stopped moving,
just shuffled there, embracing, as the Mangles
and Penguins crooned, and the mothers looked on
not with disapproval or scorn, looked on with their eyes
dreaming, as if looking from a thousand miles away, as if
from over the mountain and across the sea, a look
on their faces I didn’t understand, not knowing then
those other songs I would someday enter, not knowing
how I would shimmer and writhe, jig like a puppet
doing the shimmy-shimmy-kokobop, or glide from turn
to counter turn within the waltz, not knowing
how I would hold the other through the night
and across the years, holding on for love and dear life,
for solace and kindness, learning the dance as we go,
learning from those first, awkward, shuffling steps,
that sweetness and doo-wop back at the beginning.


But I wonder if their moms were hearing something along these lines in their hearts…

What about you? Have you ever danced “cheek-to-cheek?” And what song were you dancing to?


Picture Credit: prairiehome.org