The Dance
By Janet Brice Parker

I’m happy that I danced with him when he was eighty-seven. The ship rocked softly. The waves were smooth, like his dancing, and as easy as our love for each other. He smelled fresh, like tropical breezes, and his white hair shone in the festive lights. His suit was crisp where my left hand rested on his shoulder. The music floated onto the dance floor, up through our toes and into two minds that loved the beauty of rhythm. He showed me the “old University steps” and I followed along.

We had been dancing together since he picked me up and twirled me around the rooms of our little house. I grew to “knee-high” and stood on his feet. We waltzed until I became older and too heavy to perch on his shiny shoes.

He saw his grandsons twirl their wives to big band music and recreate the steps he learned as a young man. He watched and remembered as they repeated the same moves, turns and swings that he knew by heart. He reached for Mama’s small frail hand and led her onto the floor. He held her tightly as they moved to the music. The last voyage on the vast ocean, and the last dance.

I can still feel my small feet on top of his. I long to follow his gentle lead as I look up, see his face and dance to the rhythms of life.

To Daddy


Janet Brice Parker's interest in writing began at a young age. She was influenced by her father's "silly rhymes" and her grandmother's published memoirs. Janet has been published by KOTA PRESS, LUCIDITY poetry journal, Houston, Texas, TROUVERE COMPANY WRITER'S GAZETTE, THE BLOUNT COUNTIAN newspaper and THE COCONUT TELEGRAPH. She is working on her first book of short stories. Janet has been a professional artist for thirty five years. She lives in Decatur, Alabama with her husband, Eddie.


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