Dancing by Renee Williams

Uneven planks, calloused wood weathered by nor’easters
lead over the Atlantic, sand sharks below graze for chum
the bar at the end of the pier is a centerpiece for Budweiser and Hank Williams
while cloggers shimmy to “Mustang Sally” for the third time of the evening.

Those who fish huddle near the benches at the edge of the deck
their Lowe’s buckets filled with mullet for bait or the catch of the night
knives at the ready sit on the fencing
the strawberry moon blesses all beneath her.

The bartender tells us the storm coming into the Gulf bears watching
you never when those tropical depressions will build up steam
chiming into our waters
reminding us of Hurricane Hugo that decimated this pier not so long ago.

A pelican loiters nearby, waiting for remnants left behind
this one is not as fast as the grackles or gulls
occasionally a child will toss a small blue fish its way.

Eric Clapton’s vocals cloud the evening air
“Wonderful Tonight” causes the cloggers to take a rest
and slowly couples set their Yuengling bottles on the tables
sticky from stale ketchup spills and maple syrup from the breakfast fare.

You take my hand and lead me to the dance floor
the salty wind whips my hair into my face
you push it aside with your hands
and gazing into your eyes,
the world stops.

Renee Williams is a retired English professor, who has written for Of Rust and Glass, Alien Buddha Press and the New Verse News.

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