UNCLE FRED AND THE SAND DANCE

Your Uncle Fred
on Christmas Eve
at Gran’s house

when you were a kid
did the sand dance
wearing an old fashion

man’s striped nightgown
and a red fez
(he got that in Egypt

during WW2
Gran said)
and brown

open toed sandals
and Uncle Ed
turned the handle

of the windup gramophone
where an old
78rpm record

was playing
and there were
glasses of sherry

being consumed
and cigarettes being smoked
and you sat watching

clapping your hands
and Gran would get up
afterwards

and do her Can-Can
like she used to
as she young woman

on the stage
and Granddad sat there
quiet saying nothing

looking at
the people gathered
sipping his sherry

watching his wife
lifting her legs
her white fuzzy hair

going to and fro
as she moved
and you wanted

to have some sherry
but your mother said
no you have lemonade

little boys
don’t have sherry
so you sat

with your lemonade
watching Uncle Fred
and his dance

and the music coming
from the old gramophone
and the smell of sherry

and beer and cigarette smoke
and Uncle telling the adults
one of his old army jokes.

UNCLE FRED AND THE SAND DANCE

Terry Collett

Horsham, United Kingdom

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  • sandra22
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