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September 18, 2023

My Tiny Dancer Isn't Using Her Belly Today

By John Dorroh

My Tiny Dancer Isn't Using Her Belly Today

You couldn't wait to arrive here on white sandy beaches,
dip your toes into the warm salt water, send up a pray of thanks
for safe arrival, for a week away from client calls and tedious
reports. It's as if we picked up where we left off last year,
the poems that fell out of our fingers onto the monitors,
blue light and black letters spelling out the ideas in our heads.
It is the best Friday night we've had in too many months.

I am confounded that your stomach is in knots, tightly wound,
unable to ward off on its own the sickening feeling that all is not
well. I made you hot ginger tea and asked you to eat ranitidine,
which almost always helps me.

We have swapped places. I am usually the patient, the one
whose upper right leg feels as if it's under attack by demon
nerve endings, inflamed, forcing me to sit down every 10 minutes
in my dog walks. They don't deserve that, and neither do I, or
at least that's the way I'm thinking.

I see the discomfort in your face, the way you hold your stomach
and pat it, hoping that a gentle caress will pull the tiny dancer out
of you. I sit on the front porch in the sun, sending up prayers that
you will wake up in the morning and feel fine. It's the best we can
do for now.

Article © John Dorroh. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-12-02
Image(s) are public domain.
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