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Dancing with Danny Kaye

Swept up by the red-headed stranger
she laughed belly-deep, loving this man-
this big-nosed Russian bear of a man.

At eleven, she had no idea who he was,
but understood arms strong enough
"Ya-kosh try-ee-ya sva-ba-dos" he sang

something like that, she sings it again
turning out of ridiculous choices,
ugly scenes and bruises slow to heal.

Dictionaries are built from hopeful words
no one says to her in any language
what he said, no one could even guess.