Welcome, dear reader! Also today, I am sharing with you a new poem. This one comes to you as one of my three contributions for the January 2015 issue of The Year of the Poet – the monthly book series published by Inner Child Press, Ltd. of which I have informed you last Sunday. I want to hope that you will come back next week to accompany me for yet another one. My best wishes for your new week!
“The Twist” and Tunç dayım*
a pre-natal fascination it must have been
not only for him, for me too, when on my own
lured by the unheard-of piper’s glamorous tune
coveting a First World culture’s tempo-precision
falling into the magic of his feet’s swing-succession
1960s, for pity’s sake!
i, a mere wonder-detecting-eyed toddler
he, a tall cool-dancing swift-footed prince
with an affable smile on his handsome face
removing remarks from his balding greyed head
laughing hard at his pants for their bowlegged dent
those “futbolcu bacakları”* are insured, his pride would allege
for a rare high amount, and upon invitation at that!
by whom? we never learned enough to pledge
in 1941, awing the world, Chubby Checker gets born
Tunç dayım had thus far been moving fairly along
to witness the year 1960 for an album’s dramatic release
extracting joy from his music-filled youth of disease
“The Twist” had arrived – an all-American song
competing against his magical feet so strong
inside his shiny all-American shoes
that year saw in me a toddling and toodling little fire
my often sickly eyes lain on the twists and turns of his legs
leaving me behind in my sick-bed within a safe distance
frequenting his visits in sets of carnaval-colored attire
to balance my weakness with his weakened substance
in 1970s, self-centered-to-the-limit was i
the world-is-solely-about-me-all me-i was i
he – sentenced to an early death at birth
danced in grace to his reserved time’s drum
taking me always to a felt-deeply-inside-mirth
at each of my moments of the slightest glum
having lived with us for years when young
an attentive brother to me is what he had become
his selfless love and care had since often been sung
from me for him however, there was not a thing to come
he died, we learned afterward – on the stairways to his office
one late night in his attempt to rush to answer a call
2000 to the present year
the youngest and a most precious darling of the Erguens
the universe-turns-around-me-i of me
then a friend’s public post the other day
lends me a ticket to that now valued past
its stub shouting a valid grist,
“Come on, baby, let’s do the twist!”
Shared as well.
In my chamber’s core canal.
“Take me by my little hand and go like this.”
Once more. To tell me you forgive me
for forgetting you this long.
Your brother is among us still,
caring for me since you have left.
have finally learned
not to let him slide by
while he is among the living yet.
*”dayım” equals “my uncle from the mother’s side” and “futbolcu bacakları” means “legs of a succer player” in Turkish, my native tongue. Crooked legs in men used to receive a light-hearted description while I was growing up in Turkey, succer being the country’s national sport and one that supposedly caused men the less-than-straight look in their lower body. This younger uncle had been a succer player since his very early ages, and always proudly referred to his legs under this common excuse, while he would don a huge sneaky smile for those of his happiest childhood times.
© hülya n. yılmaz, December 16, 2014