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      “The Dance”
She wasn’t a wall flower
she smiled
and tried to
let the boys know
she wanted to dance
but she was getting
the feeling
she might be out classed
she considered herself
average looking
but on the high side
of average
she had been to
school dances before
but this year
she was 16
she wanted to dance
with a really cute guy
not just one of her
male lab partners,
they were nice
just not the kind of guy
that had you writing
his name
a 100-times
over and over
on your notebook
during 1st period math
after just one
long slow dance.
Freshmen year
she would have danced
with one of her girlfriends
but now
that seems so very
Junior High,
she looks over
the other girls
that are getting
asked to dance
some are older
their age alone
took them out of
the pool of guys
she was competing for
it was the others,
Sophomore girls
and a few of the
real mature looking Freshmen
that she was up against
many of them
really knew how to
apply their make-up
bringing out their
facial features
in ways she had to admit
blew her away
she had to give them
a silent golf clap
each time
one would walk by
some of the others
had done their make-up
in a way
that had her wondering
if a guy asked
“How Much?”
before he asked her to dance
she looks over at
Johnny B
not really sure what
the “B” means
his last name is
she gives him
a really big smile
when he looks up
and catches her
wishful thinking stare,
last year she would have
quickly looked away
when their eyes met
but this year
she brought her
self-confidence with her
she wants him to know
that she’s interested in him
but he acts like he’s
much to cool for her
pretends to look
right past her
when their eyes meet
as if she was someone
he didn’t care to know
she scoffs,
he knew her well enough
last year
when he copied
her English homework
on more than one occasion.
Her girlfriend accepts
the first opening bid
to dance
he was only
a so-so looker
she glances back
over her shoulder
and mouths the words
“You got to start somewhere”
as she’s lead to the dance floor.
She notices a gaggle
of Freshmen girls
all dressed in
one piece pajamas
complete with footies
she misses her innocence
of just a year gone past
she is willing to bet
those girls have more fun
telling untrue gossip
to each other
paired along with their
simultaneous group sighs
each time a cute boy
walks by
and throws them a look,
she takes a quick glance
at all the Frosh so-so boys
that always seem to
at the far corner
of the gym
maybe they think
there is safety in numbers
she breaks her visual survey
not wanting any of them
mistaking it for
an invitation
to ask her to dance,
she takes up
watching her friend dance
with some sort of
semblance of rhythm,
her friend
looking back at her
a screwed-up smile
finding it’s place
on her face,
so many of the girls
are wearing high heels
she chose flats
practically winning out
over fashion
thinking now
that might have been
a mistake.
Her friend sits down
sipping on a coke
the so-so looker
had bought for her
as the next song starts
something takes
hold of her
“I Love this Song”
She says
as she stands up
pulls off her shoes
and just walks
to the center
of the dance floor
she stops
looks down to the floor
and absorbs
the next few beats
of the music
then she starts to move
stepping forward
her barefoot reaching out
grabbing the gym floor
pulling the rest of her body
behind it
her body starts to
turn and twist
the song
and her movements
are completely in-sync
the others
continue to dance
just giving her
a little more space
as her body
is pulled around the room
by the tempo
of the music
every step and sway
each pause
she makes
while standing on
her bare tippy-toes
before her body flows
towards the floor
only to spring back up
on to a pair
of perfect
but unnoticed before
that have now captured
along with the rest
of her body
every available eye
in the house,
nothing she did
seemed to beg for attention
her body
moving in ways
that was many levels
above sexy
it was beautiful,
the boys stood staring
the girls
some jealous
but most
were just as amazed
at this improve
display of both
beauty and art
no one could look away
as the music spun
towards its final note
and as the last beat
begun to fade
she found herself
in the middle
of the dance floor
looking down
at her two bare feet,
the whole room
was completely quite
as she stood their
looking down,
then she just
raised her head
and meekly walked back
to her seat
the crowd
unsure of
what just happened
just stood in awe
of what they had
just witnessed,
the DJ cued up a song
that broke through
their dream like state
and as she sits down
some of the boys
that took notice
of her dance
began to make their way
towards her
to ask her to dance
but Johnny B
got their first
”How have you been doing?”
“I just noticed you here”
“Would you like to dance?”
He says
with a Cheshire Cat smile
she looks at him oddly
and in a dead pan voice
“Do I know you?”
He stammers
“Johnny B”
she gives him
the weakest of smiles
“No Thanks”
and goes back to
talking with her friend,
she finds herself
back out on
the dance floor
dancing with a few
very cute boys
none that had her
transferring his name
in ink
to one of her notebooks
but it was a great night
and this morning
as she walked
between classes
she could hear
more than a few
and even some
about the most
beautiful dance
this school
has ever seen…
     Tom Allen…08-05-2017…