Polka Mass

the enso

An blurry action photo of polka dancers dancing

"Oompas and Waltzes" by marlowe

the poem

It happens once
a year, like a pint of Guinness
or a slice of key lime
pie, an annual tradition to mark
what we cannot foresee, as time
loops around the clock like dancers
circling this hardwood floor. We are
grateful for the Shiner beer
before Mass begins, the St. Mary’s Choir
chanting in Czech while we fiddle
with our pink camouflage wrist bands,
proof we paid our dues.
The elders wear traditional
costumes with cowboy boots, stealing
gentle yet furtive glances,
a touch, then, perhaps later
a scandalous public kiss. But it’s
the old-time polkas that whoop
up the crowd, the serious
couples kicking in real
soft leather-soled shoes that shuffle.
Even the toddlers are humbled
by the bass drum. We could play
checkers on these white & red table clothes,
each plastic square perfectly aligned:
seamless and predictable and simple.
The controlled chaos continues to churn
while Miss Lavaca County pops her gum
on the sidelines. We watch the fashionistas
swirl by in long tiered skirts, winking
at the K of C officers in full regalia, black capes
pinned back at the shoulder, swords ready.

Date: Tuesday, 23. August 2011 20:45
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