“THE ROCKETTES”

By Deborah Digges

My mother danced with the Rockettes one spring

just to earn, she said, a little extra

money after her daytime job nursing
the sick in their homes, some of them dying

during the night. They called her Geneva,

who kissed them, danced with the Rockettes one spring.
Each time she locked arms she had a saying,

Compassed about by so great a cloud…, a

repertoire of greetings, smiles, bows. Nursing
required it, and getting through the evening

knowing any minute now. Stamina!

So she danced hard with the Rockettes one spring.
And in Missouri, years later, she’d sing

to the cancan over our wild hurrahs,

lift high her long, lovely legs, old nursing
cap flying, as though she were rehearsing

with her six daughters, who shouted Vive la

vie! as we danced like the Rockettes one spring—

breathless, she rocked the baby, flushed, nursing.


                                          

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