My Papa’s Waltz

My Papa’s Waltz

by Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breath

Could make a small boy dizzy;

But I hung on like death:

Such waltzing was not easy.

 ~ ❇ ✾ ❈ ✾ ❇ ~

We romped until the pans

Slid from the kitchen shelf;

My mother’s countenance

Could not unfrown itself.

 ~ ❇ ✾ ❈ ✾ ❇ ~

The hand that held my wrist

Was battered on one knuckle;

At every step you missed

My right ear scraped a buckle.

 ~ ❇ ✾ ❈ ✾ ❇ ~

You beat time on my head

With a palm caked hard by dirt,

Then waltzed me off to bed

Still clinging to your shirt.

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