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Joyce Johnson. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.
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The Dance Hall Girl
I'm standing here in limbo as
I see him wander in.
That no townsman has warned him
is truly a mortal sin.
He slides up to the bar and
takes a curious look around.
He orders a shot of whiskey.
No one else has made a sound.
The barman just ignores him
as he has the others here,
and keeps on mopping up the bar
as I try to wipe a tear.
I still have strong emotions
with no way to express them.
I don't know about the others.
They all look like wooden chess men.
When that dying gunman hexed us
with that evil, malevolent curse,
he didn't doom us all to death's call
but with something even worse.
He said we'd stay almost forever,
exactly as we were right then,
until some day, some one would free us.
But he didn't tell us when.
I'm a dance hall girl who hasn't danced
for lo these many years.
I just stay as frightened as I was then
as I try to wipe my tears.
I see the stranger stiffen
as he searches for some cash.
He'll reach for it forever.
The spell has hit him in a flash.
So I know he's not the one
who can break the wicked spell.
We'll keep doing what we're doing,
but I guess its just as well.
For the only one who'll walk out
of this doomed saloon alive,
is the hombre who can break the spell
that keeps us in this dive.
When the spell has been broken
we will all be turned to dust,
and be blown to Earth's corners
with the wind's first heavy gust.
For town of rottgutt contest.