Anna Woodford

Dancing Lesson

Dad waits in the hall
with his two left feet,
Mum runs late
down the stairs,
making the shoes
in her carrier bag
kick up their heels.

They leave the house,
that I left years ago.
Later, my phonecall
catches them out
and I remember the secret
mum let slip,

I think of my parents,
spinning under a glitterball,
with the whole of the universe
revolving around them.

I imagine an oily third party,
cutting between them,
to show how a gentleman
would handle my mother,
or a faded Ginger
leading dad on a merry dance

before the refrain of the love song
brings my parents together,
forsaking all others,
they move a little closer and
try out a salsa,
as though either of them
could put a foot wrong.

Anna Woodford is one of this year' winners of the Eric Gregory Award. She is widely published in magazines and is the author of The Higgins Honeymoon pamphlet. She lives in Newcastle


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