It was the annual charity ball,
And though she had no desire to go,
Her daughter coaxed and urged her,
"Mom, it's a worthy cause, you know."
So she dressed her best and went along,
The ballroom seemed gay and bright,
People were laughing and milling about,
So many there that night.
The overhead lights were softly dimmed,
She sat and sipped her wine,
The music played; the dancers swayed,
She tapped her toe in time.
But her mind went back to long ago,
To a prior charity dance,
To a beautiful night, quite like this,
To an evening filled with romance
That was the night, and this was the place,
That Mike knelt on his knee and proposed,
Two giddy, young kids, so much in love,
They couldn't see as far as their nose.
He couldn't afford the ring he bought,
That he clumsily placed on her hand,
She laughed to herself, as she recalled,
His "ten dollars a month payment plan."
So what if the stone was so small,
That her brother and sister teased,
She only cared about what it meant,
And that she and Mike were both pleased.
Lost in the thoughts the night had brought,
With her eyes wide open, she dreamed,
Quite unaware of the others there,
She saw only Mike's face, it seemed.
Unobserved in all the commotion,
She reached out her hand toward his face,
She only wanted to stroke his cheek,
Right here, right now, in this place.
But a sudden crashing of cymbals,
Made her vision of Mike disappear,
Hastily, she snatched back her hand,
And selfconsciously dabbed at a tear.
Athough the ballroom was crowded,
She was sure no one had looked her way,
That her actions had not been noticed,
And she patted the tears away.
Suddenly a hand brushed her shoulder,
By her side stood a grand looking man,
"May I have this dance, dear lady?"
He smiled and extended his hand.
He swept her across the dance floor,
The music now soft and slow,
The room had begun to quiet down,
She relaxed and went with the flow.
The tears were now dry upon her cheek,
And she managed a hint of a smile,
The stranger's arms seemed comforting,
Even for this little while.
"Dear lady, your smile's so charming,
It lights up your lovely face,
A sweet smile like yours, my dear,
Indeed, lights up the whole place."
She caught her breath; his voice, like Mike's,
And those very words she'd heard before,
Mike often said she glowed when she smiled,
And could light up a whole room, or more.
She closed her eyes, her smile broadened,
The band struck up a familiar tune,
The stranger guided her with grace,
Once more around the room.
She sneaked a peek at his handsome face,
Oh my ... so much like Mike,
She sighed and closed her eyes again,
What a glorious, beautiful night.
Another dance ... and then another,
She loved to dip and sway,
She moved, it seemed, as in a dream,
To each piece of music played.
Then, "Mom!  Oh, Mom!" her daughter's voice,
Rang out and gave her a start!
"It's time to go.  Wake up," she teased,
"No more wine for you, sweetheart."
Then she helped her mother with her wrap,
"That band was really great tonight,
They played lots of yours and Dad's old songs,
I thought they were a real delight."
Her mother smiled sweetly
As she snuggled into her coat,
"I had a grand time tonight, dear,
Much better than what I had hoped."
Then, as they left the ballroom,
Her Mom searched and looked all around,
She studied the face of each stranger,
But her partner was not to be found.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright January 2007







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