Child's Hearts and Clasped Hands


I step onto the balcony, focusing

on nothing but the shadowy night

sky, empty of stars      I remember

gazing from the same spot with child’s

eyes, my father’s warm, strong hand

on my shoulder. We’d sing, and I’d laugh


as we did, so unlike the petty laughter

of the guests inside, who focus

only on the “clink” of glass and touch of hands

on waists. They turn to tonight’s

Cole Porter, purposefully ignoring me, a child

in their eyes. They don’t want to remember


I am all grown-up. But one remembers.

The dashing, reckless eyes sparkle and laugh,

as he walks towards me, with his childlike

grin. I blush and try to focus

on the cold of the outside, instead of the knight

come to rescue me from the hand


of another dreary party. He holds his hand

out to me, beckoning, and I remember.

Both five, innocent of the night

and the dark, full of that perfect laughter

and bliss. We were each other’s only focus

and friend. Both different and just children.


In that moment, on the balcony, I am a child

again, wanting nothing more than his hand

in mine. My eyes travel over his face, focusing

on that bold grin, the feature I remember

most about him. He notices me staring and laughs,

 “Come on.”  I follow him out of the night.


The victrola hums a soft jazz, unlike the nightly

Charleston of these parties. The harsh, childish

brass is replaced with the gentle laughter

of the piano as our hands

touch, his other palm warm on my back. I don’t remember

how to dance like this, so I focus


on his feet, focus on this night

I will remember forever     and with childs’

hearts and clasped hands, we dance and laugh.



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