WILLA v10 - Poetry - The Dance

Volume 10
Fall 2001

The Dance

Branda Mahoitz
Syracuse University

I make wine in my Nuna's basement,
stomping my feet, feeling the grapes
between my toes,
jumping up and down, legs splattering
blood red juice.

Laundry day, Nuna watches
from the corner of her eye
as she puts the dripping clothes
through the electric wringer one more time
and one more time again
before vanishing
through the cellar door to hang them
on the clothes line. Nuna laughs,
her soft gray hair
placed in perfect pincurls,
a blue flowered dress,
no shoes despite the dirt on the floor
a menthol cigarette hanging loosely
from her bottom lip.
She gulps the last of her beer,
approaches my grape march dance,
claps to increase speed,
nods her head.
She's singing
an Italian jig.
Laughing at the words I don't understand,
I turn and slip and spin
in my small metal washtub.

The grapes have become
a thick syrup.
Nuna lifts me out,
I wrap my stained legs around her waist
as she turns
her own dance.

Reference Citation: Maholtz, Branda. (2001) "The Dance." WILLA , Volume 10, p. 11.