Chlamydia sighed, They’ll be starting ‘Strictly’ again soon. Maybe
the formula is played out now. I mean, where’s the glamour? It
seems to be all about sex.
Hmm, I know. I used to love the ballroom dancing programmes in
the Fifties- dresses with tulle, wired underskirts and women with
slashes of smiling scarlet lippie. At least, I suppose it was scarlet,
since the programmes were all in black and white!
Did you go to dance classes?
Ballet- for about six weeks.
Why did you stop?
‘cos my granny bought me black ballet pumps, instead of pink,
like the other girls had.
Didn’t your father have his own band?
Yes. He had a quintet. He played the drums and my uncle played
the piano. My mum and dad met at the ‘dancing’.
Pity you didn’t stick at it.
I loved dancing at home, with my grandfather. Here!
Not another one of your…
Yes, read it. Go on!
HEAVEN, YOU’RE IN HEAVEN
Image by Michael Foskett
Sometimes we’d shuffle round a room, backwards,
with me balancing on his feet, dreaming
I was Ginger Rogers. He’d teach me words
like ‘tapselteerie‘. When it was teeming
down, he’d say,‘It’s raining cats and dogs!’ and,
idiom-proof, I’d stare outside the door.
Hand in hand, we’d go to the park bandstand,
to listen to the pomp of brass. Adore?-
I worshipped him, with his tobacco tin
full of small change. He never short-changed me.
At my command, he’d show his shrapnelled shin;
eject his dentures, ape-like, suddenly,
to make me gasp. I’d taste his pipe sometimes,
although I retched. He’d draw around my hand
and taught me all the tables, nursery rhymes.
He waltzed into the sunset and I stand
on my own feet, but find I cannot dance
in step with others, with such elegance.