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Donna

Do you remember those Sundays
Driving with mother and father
In that big gray Desoto to the bars
On the prairie north of Chicago?

You asked me, your little brother,
To dance to Hank Williams singing,
"Hey, good looking, Whatcha got cooking?"
And we twirled and jitterbugged,
Waltzed and stepped beneath blue
And green Christmas tree lights.

Did the drunks turn from their dreams
Of Normandy with its gray sands
And the Ardennes with its frozen dead
To watch us dance the way they danced
When they were children before the war?
Did they know that we were DPs,
The children they fought in Remagen
To free? Did they turn and clap,
Toss us nickels and mercury head dimes?

And what did we talk about as we danced?

I'm sure it wasn't about the way
Mother slapped you across your face,
Chased you screaming through the rooms,
Or swung for you under the bed
With the broken broomstick handle.

Listen, I am thinking of you still
And praying that you forgive me
For never telling you that I knew
How bad she hurt you

And if there was some way
I could dance with you again
Beneath those blue and green lights
I would, and I would beg you
In my broken Polish not to cry.

Prosze Danousha,
Prosze nie plakach.

 

©2001 John Guzlowski
This poem is not of the Language of Mules collection.
The last two lines are "Please Donna / Please don't cry."

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