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Sep 30

The Forty-Year Waltz

“How would you know?” she said to the girl
wearing white . . . . the one with a blood red rose in her hair.
“Have you been to this dance before?” she
asked, gazing intently into the girl’s innocent eyes.

“Well, no, I haven’t, but I know . . . “ said the girl
wearing white . . . the one with a blood red rose in her hair.

“Then how do you know how to dance this dance,
this Forty Year Waltz, that seems never to end?”
she inquired as the girl went on dancing.

Stepping so slowly, so proper, so prim, the girl in
the white dress . . the one with a blood red rose in her hair . . .
turned her eyes away from the shabby calico
dress as the other continued to dance.

“I’m sure you’re just not doing it exactly quite right,” the
girl spoke as though into the air, and she tucked
her white dress up close to her heart . . . the girl with the blood red rose in her hair

Around and around, 1 – 2 – 3, 1 – 2 – 3, over and
over, and over again, the girl in the tattered blue sweater and
calico dress began to spin faster and faster it seemed.

The girl in the white dress . . .  the one with a blood red rose
in her hair . . . watched in silence as the dance
continued until . . . .

A handsome young man held out his hand, to the
girl in the white dress . . . the one with a blood red rose in her
hair . . . and gently pulled her close.

His strong arms and brave heart gave her
courage to stand, and dance through the night –
through the storm; through the darkness and
danger she danced . . . .

Then she watched, as the girl in the tattered blue
sweater and calico dress tripped and fell . . . .

“I’m sure you’re not doing it just quite right,” said the
girl wearing white, the one with a blood red rose in her hair, as
she swirled and twirled on the arm on her beau.

Though her rough brown shoes were broken and
worn, and the tattered blue sweater was threadbare
and torn, the girl in the calico dress stood again . . . .
and she danced with a limp as the blood trickled
down – from a cut on her knee and a wound in her heart.

At the side of the room, at the edge of the light, there
he stood watching her stumble and bleed – with her
eyes she implored him, “Please help me this time.”

With a laugh and a sneer he again turned away; she
continued to dance the Forty Year Waltz, praying
that this time she would get it just right.

Then the girl in the white dress . . . . the one with a blood red rose
in her hair . . . glanced over her shoulder just in time
to see – that tattered blue sweater and calico dress
transform in the night.

In a moment of redemption, her Forty Year Waltz
ended . . . . no longer wounded, no longer
bloodied, the girl in the calico dress became whole.

The girl in the white dress . . . . the one with a blood red rose in
her hair . . . . touched the thorn on that rose and she
suddenly knew . . .

She, too, was dancing the Forty Year Waltz, the dance that seems
never to end – and she twirled through the darkness,
pleading “Help me this time.”

But her beau stood
there silent . . .
Too late she now knew. . . but she couldn’t
stop dancing . . . she was just not doing it exactly quite right.

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