Day 26 -- Contra

Contra was a video game when I was a kid. For me now, it's a community dance.

Last night: lights, camera, and Contra Dancers in action.



Our community dances on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at Short's Brewing Company: 6-7pm social hour, 7-9pm dancing. We Waltz, Contra, Square, Two-Step, Swing. 


The late, great, Dan Gorno started this dance gathering. A testament to his skill as a teacher and natural community builder, people have stepped into the role of instructors and callers. We dance and we laugh and we try our best to be as wickedly funny as he was. Come on out and dance with us. Besides being fun, it's good for your health.


He finds her near the stack
of green plastic baskets waiting to be filled
and circles her waist with his left arm,
entwines her fingers in his, pulls her toward him,
Muzak from the ceiling shedding a flashy Salsa,
and as they begin to move, she lets
her head fall back, fine hair swinging
a beat behind as they follow
their own music—a waltz—past the peaches
bursting with ripeness in their wicker baskets,
the prawns curled into each other
behind cold glass, a woman in a turquoise sari,
her dark eyes averted. They twirl twice
before the imported cheeses, fresh mozzarella
in its milky liquid, goat cheese sent down
from some green mountain, then glide past
ranks of breads, seeds spread across brown crusts,
bottles of red wine nested together on their sides.
He reaches behind her, slides a bouquet
of cut flowers from a galvanized bucket, tosses
a twenty to the teenaged boy leaning
on the wooden counter, and they whirl
out the door, the blue sky a sudden surprise.

Poem copyright ©2016 by Pat Hemphill Emile



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