The Dancer

By Eric Greinke

for Maria Sorenson


Maria was born in Uppsala.

She married young

to a man who turned out

to be a bad drunk.

She divorced him, against

19th century Swedish mores.

She fled to Chicago

with her daughters, remarried

& moved to the suburbs.

She loved to dance.

So did her new husband.

No matter what happened

during the work-week,

they always went dancing

on Saturday night, right up until

the day he died, at age seventy-five.

Maria polkaed through her eighties

& waltzed through her nineties.

She wouldn’t wear hearing aides.

She feared they made her unattractive,

& men wouldn’t dance with her.

She died at one hundred & three

from an infected, broken leg,

just days after her last elated dance.




Eric Greinke’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, most recently Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Poem, The Aurorean, and Forge.  He has collaborated extensively with other poets, and is working on a book about it, to be titled In the 3rd Person.  Three of his essays appear in the soon to be published anthology Poetry

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