My mama’s waltz

(apologies to Theodore Roethke)


The perfume on your breasts

could drive a young boy crazy

so I got by on hope --

our dance was never easy.


We whirled from room to room,

circling smooth and tight,

each turn, our pas de dux,

much spinning out of sight.


You danced dad's memory back

to us, my  face against your dress,

dizzy with each pass at dusk,

clinging, wanting to be blessed.


Shadows soft at the dark edge,

his absence not undone,

you waltzed me off to bed,

lonely mother, forlorn son.

                                 Timothy Pilgrim