The first girl I danced with…
It was awkward. I
Remember her laugh – young, fearful, hopeful –
A great exploration about to begin.
So much human jungle ahead.
A 12-year-old’s giggle, a gold prospector’s shovel,
Brush, pan to dip to let the water sieve through, in nugget anticipation.

We touched, always tentative, my arm around her waist.
There was music. There were other stumbling dancing couples.
Our dance was short. Then we were on our way.

I remember her name. Not the music.
Not what happened next.

She’s long passed. Cancer got her.
Pretty sure she married in those 40 years – had kid-nuggets– found her way
Through the jungle. I honestly don’t know.

Our story was barely a pan-dip.
The laugh. Her waist.
Her waste.