After Saturday night baths,
the girl donned a flannel nightgown,
knee-high socks and slippers
to ward off winter drafts sifting
across living room linoleum.
She sat in front of a console TV
with little brothers and sister
awaiting the first popping bubbles
of The Lawrence Welk Show.
Mr. Welk flicked his baton to release
sparkling champagne music.
On cue the troupe popped up,
polkaed round the room, giggled into
sofa, rocking chair and coffee table.
Later, the girl ascended to a bedroom
filled with two beds, three sisters
and a hundred unshared dreams.
She fell asleep to a one-two-three beat
of blizzard circling empty fields,
rata-tat-tat-tling window panes.
The wind drummed its cadence
until she opened an eye to see
the conductor tapping his baton.
Then she stepped to center stage,
whirled on a champagne dance floor.
While snow buried the world below.
Embassy International Contest finalist, 2008