Tap Dancing on Puddles

Tap Dancing on Puddles

He went out the door at noon
He arrived at the pub at two
By three or four he was playing billiards
After seven in the evening
He couldn’t recall
If he’d told his wife
Where he’d been off to
(She tended to get mad at his leaving)
With his blood pumping heat
from his head to his feet
He walked home in the snow
Northern lights overhead casting
Their spelling, singing like crackling glass
Lighting his gaunt face in their green and pink glow
Like a tap dancer he skipped across a puddle of ice
With the grace of Gene Kelley
And now one to see
The voice of a pipe organ
He serenaded the moon
Until he came to the front door
Of his own little home and remembered
That Marjorie hadn’t been told
That he’d been gone since noon
(Or more importantly she hadn’t told him
that she was okay with him coming home
by the light of the north and the moon)

The door creaked on its hinges
The house looked deceptively at peace
But he knew that Marjorie would not likely
Have gone to bed so soon
Peering with wide eyes
He took off his crushed fedora from his
Creased working man’s brow
and tossed it into the dark by the couch

His breath blew out of him in clouds in the cold
He rubbed his arms for warmth
And cursed in a whisper
As his hat
Like a miracle
Flew back to his hand

Marjorie was awake and her message was plain:
He was not welcome here until the ‘morrow
Sweet bottles of sorrow
He closed the door with a prayer
To the God of his fathers
(That he said he didn’t believe in but
he prayed to all the same)
And tap dancing over
The frozen puddles
He went to find a couch
To sleep what was left of the night away

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