r james sterzinger

(9-11-56 / midwest)

The Plover's Dance


in the spring
on the Wisconsin farm
where I was raised
between the cattails
and the creeks Porky and Dill
the plovers came

unlike the redwings
and the grackles
who sang songs
to court their mates
the preferred method for the plover
was to sweep
their mates off their feet
with a festive dance

there in the previous years grass
we could see the little
Arthur Murray dance maps
cut into the ground

they danced
the waltz the schottische
and the polka
for hours on end
after all
it was Wisconsin

they made their nests
on the ground
laid eggs
raised their young.
when fall came
and they would pull up stakes
fly south
then return in spring

and we would again find
their dance steps
in the soft moist earth

one year though
a different set of plovers moved in
beside the others

they danced the rumba
the tango and the cha-cha
dances that were never done
in the creek bottom before

the next year
the plovers didn't return
I like to think
that maybe they found another place
where polkas were more plentiful
and they could again mate the way
they always had.

but again maybe they didn't
once you go city
it's hard to go back

Submitted: Friday, July 24, 2009
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