Prom Night

by Janet Butler


A May afternoon and music from the local Elks
pushes up against my shut windows, edges around corners,
seeps through cracks, and pulls me out to dance.

Eighteen again, I primp for Prom Night, a butterfly caged in my loins.
I pace in untested high heels, off-balance with the small-town glamour
of me, crude in brash colors, but beautiful I feel in their over-the-counter
glitz, permission granted to overdo tonight.

My date arrives in a slightly large rented tux, his eyes shy but happy.
He too feels romance in the air, as if this night were a road leading to
dreams come true, pulling forever forward – goodbye to life as we know it.
It’s Prom Night. We climb that stairway to the stars together.

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