Friday Poetry: "The First Dance"

Note: Okay, so why don't we all just pretend that I am a responsible individual who totally does not forget to post her poetry before midnight on Fridays? Good. I knew I could count on you guys. ;) Hey everybody!

Argh, yet another week has passed by and I STILL haven't shared the thing I've been wanting to with you guys! (So much news... so little time.) *sigh* Hopefully next week I can fit it into the posting schedule, otherwise I may or may not be driven insane. This is pretty much the first time I have ever kept a secret for this long and I am not taking it well. :P

So, this week's Friday Poetry, entitled The First Dance, is way sadder than I'd meant it to be. Actually, it was originally supposed to have a happier (alright, maybe not happier, but more hopeful, shall we say?) ending, but I kind of decided that the subject matter was just too depressing to skirt around and went all-out on the angst. It's partially inspired by a beautiful book I'm currently reading called The Glass Castle - you guys should definitely check it out, by the way, but be careful of some mature themes.

As always, don't forget to leave a comment if you love the poem or hate it or anywhere in between; feedback is always welcome. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone - I'll catch up with you all on Monday! xx

love, Topaz

The First Dance

the only thing you remember about him is that he taught you to dance.

when you were young enough that his face would eventually blur into a skin-coloured shape with two bright blue eyes, he twirled you around and whispered in your ear that you were his favourite girl above everybody else and he made you pinky-promise never to tell anybody, even momma

and he put a record on his huge old-fashioned turntable and you danced through the waltz, his hands guiding you danced through an afternoon of sunkissed innocence the kind of afternoon when second chances sat on a horizon far into the distance and goodbye was just another string of syllables in the big fat book with all the words in it

you stepped too hard on his toes but instead of crying like you might have, he laughed: loud and boisterous like you were the funniest joke he’d ever heard, and you laughed with him because you knew that he was laughing because he loved you

and this you knew, always: he loved you.

you didn’t know how to fake a smile, then because you were too busy twirling in his arms to the 1-2-3 of the waltz and his laughter like music singing in your ears, and back then you didn’t know who you were supposed to be, but you did know that he knew everything, and that was enough for you

but fast forward 1-2-3 years when you’re 9 and he and momma are fighting again with screams like scratches on a vinyl record and the sunkissed room seems too far away for words to tell

fast forward 1-2-3 years when you’re 12 and he’s gone and momma’s eyes still get red when you bring it up so you learn to forget about everything, except you find yourself humming a tune that you don’t know where you picked up and you dance alone in your room to the lilting rhythm of a waltz

fast forward 1-2-3 years when you’re 15 and the world seems to be rebelling against you and you can’t find anybody to tell you they love you so in the privacy of your bathroom you scratch one word over and over into your own skin with ink that looks too much like blood:

goodbye goodbye goodbye

fast forward 1-2-3 years when you’re 18 and you’ve learned how to tie a mask and you say yes to the first boy who asks because your smile works but your mind doesn’t, and when he takes you to prom you keep wondering why his laugh doesn’t sound quite right

fast forward 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 years and you’re walking down the aisle with nobody by your side to steady you so you almost trip and fall, but you get there safely and say the words and for the first time in too many years you feel almost like you’ve caught up with the second chance you’ve been chasing all this time

but when the music begins playing there it is again: a waltz you’d almost forgotten, and you begin dancing and it’s a sunkissed afternoon but you look over and momma’s eyes are red and when you accidentally step on his feet his laugh isn’t the one you were hoping for

so at the end of it you have to excuse yourself and run to the bathroom to wash your face, and when you walk back out you take a deep breath like it’s your last one on earth close your eyes and exhale all the goodbyes you never said allow yourself one single moment to retie your mask look up into his face and fake a smile because he can’t tell the difference –

and then you dance.