SPANISH DANCER

we stopped in Vigo, wandered cobblestone streets, and vendors pushed forward

things Americans buy.  i didn’t need Spanish souvenirs, but i watched with an easy smile

as my daughters examined everything that day had to offer – the pottery pigs with silly faces,

and jewelry made from Spanish coins, and little dolls in polka dotted dresses.  delight eased

out of them as they murmured to one another about each rare find, such things they had never seen,

sweet child hands hovering over the tables, picking up each piece as a treasure of new secrets.

and then the little one saw the dress, red with black polka dots and fringe, hanging high above her head.

i saw her wide eyes follow it as it fluffed and blew in the late afternoon harbor breeze. the shop keeper

saw her face, too, and knew it well.  he pulled the red dress down in one motion and had it in her hands.

“You want?  You want?” he pleaded, though her face told everyone nearby.  she looked up, clutching

her dress, already dancing her mind.  handing the shopkeeper the wadded up Euros, she ran down

the cobblestoned hill clutching her dress and giggling, oblivious to the shopkeeper holding out change.

she was already peeling off her shoe and sock by the bottom of the hill, tripping over the cobblestones

and the hem the dress she clutched.  the rest of us, caught up in her glee, trotted behind.  back at the hotel,

we could only sit and watch as she spun and flew in her own private flamenco, eyes closing

to the salsa in her mind.  the fringe swung one way and then another; she didn’t take her eyes

off of it.  she was in Vigo on a balcony in a red polka dotted dress, Spanish dancer for a day.

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