William A. Greenfield
After a long career in public service, I am now semi-retired and reside with my wife and a spaniel named Phoebe in the Catskill Mountains of New York. I'm a fairly good poker player and a fairly terrible golfer. My poems have appeared in The Westchester Review, Carve Magazine, The East Coast Literary Review, and other journals.
I Should Have Asked the Blind Girl to Dance
The Jerk had become popular but
I imagine Susan would have preferred
something and someone to hold onto,
if only a memory. She wore no
dark glasses to hide behind, to
cover what my gaze always
avoided; deep set so eerily, like
the lifeless remains of cadavers;
But even the dead were once alive.
She may have smelled like the
bouquet carried by a beauty queen.
She may have sighed a breath
into my ear and asked for my name.
Me, the courageous spirit who
might have brought some spark
of light where only darkness lived.
But she was some thing to shun,
like the rambling street waif or
some strange delicacy, so foreign
to my sensitive palate. I remember
her friend, Annette, a black girl
who helped guide her from class
to class. I remember her fingers
working feverishly on the Braille
note taker. I remember Ms. Murphy
standing next to the juke box,
pleading with me to do just this
one thing at the Friday night canteen.
But I was no prince of chivalry.
Heroes were made on the ball field,
not on the dance floor. The jocks
and their queens would have surely
snickered, as I somehow became
Renfield for that night; repulsed
by nothing dead or alive. But yes, I
should have asked the blind girl to dance.
I could have been a hero to an
aging Spanish teacher. Susan and
I could have swayed along to
“Color My World”; our
awkwardness so very trivial and
worth every step.
©2018 William A. Greenfield
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