I was religious then, fanatic,
worshiping the gospel of my youth
transmitted via pixels in a tube,
where I saw them, captivated
by the trance of those who sang
hymns in mystical tongues:
"dee bop a do bop, oh baby oh,
ramadama ding dong, boogity shoo..."
Twirling and swaying, their feet off the ground,
step by step obeying each beat.
The lindy hop required synchronicity.
I watched, I tried, imitation insufficient,
as my partner, a tiny feather,
slipped from my grasp, then flew
crashing the floor, as well as my moves.
Sometimes the rhythms flowed,
gradually, almost imperceptibly, weaving
tunes that integrated souls with colorless threads
attached to futures, that would blindly tie.
No exclusions existed in the twist,
the mashed potato, the watusi too.
The leader never preached or prophesied,
accepting all the different sects, knowing
there is room for any sound in nature's spirit
instigating flow. And though he grew, left
to other realms, and I changed like a boom-
(er) exploding life, he in my mind, remains
At 4 p.m. daily I watched American Bandstand. I know I'm dating myself, this is before your time, but for me it provided a gateway into American culture, music, dance etc. I practiced the dances with my younger cousin, who I'm astonished never got hurt as I unintentionally threw her around. I hated that I always had to be the "boy," and I dreamed of being like those girls on the show with boyfriends and parents who allowed them to mix. I am grateful to Dick Clark for all his musical ventures.
(Written for The Poetry Pantry at Poets United.)