The week her grandfather died, she recalled
dancing with him at her sister’s wedding,
the gardenia, his neatly parted white hair,
a tango he likened to snow falling in calm wind.
You were quick to learn, he told her, and she
remembers his hand against her shoulder
blade, the front and back ochos, the circles
clockwise and counter, side-steps, crosses,
and step-overs, the kisses he gave her,
the stranger who commended him on finding
such a young and supple partner, his smile
when he said, she is my grand daughter.
Standing her for reasons she refuses to talk about,
wanting to forget how much the world can hurt,
she thinks of him, catches snowflakes on her
sleeve, gardenias, some that join like couples
who dance together frequently, pines wet
with fresh snow. She walks across the field
alternating slow, quick, and slow steps,
holding her right palm up for a partner’s left.
Crossing her left over her right ankle, she pivots,
brushing one leg against the other, stops
to catch a snowflake on her tongue, steps
through a point, begins a circle into every
snowy afternoon she will need.