Would You Dance?

Yesterday, at the grocery store,
I heard my favorite song,
and I asked a perfect stranger
if she would care to dance.

She hesitated,
colored, then replied, “Oh,
what the hell.”

We boogied down the bread aisle,
and salsa’ed through the chips.

Cartoon faces on cereal shelves
watched our cha cha and cheered.

We tangoed by the mangos and
merengued by the pies.

She pirouetted past the poultry;
I pursued en pointe.

We did the bump by a soup display—
tripped lightly o’er tumbled cans.

Then at the end, I took her hand,
and we waltzed to the checkout lane.

This morning, at the bank,
I heard my favorite song again,
and I asked another stranger,
“Would you join me in a dance?”

She said no.
 
 
—Lester Smith
 
 
(Originally appeared in Woud You Dance? Reprinted in Free Verse.)

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