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Play, Gypsy Girl, Play

Story ID:7372
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Chicago IL USA
Person:Gypsy Women
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The following poem is one I wrote after a dream about gypsy women and girls riding on a fast moving train. It was first published at A Long Story Short and then at http://thewordsmith.faithweb.com/NJK_playgypsygirl.html where Linda Carlson, the site owner added some great graphics and background. If you haven't visited Linda's site,(The Wordsmith) be sure to do so soon. And send her some of your stories and poems. She'll make them glow. And now for the poem...

play, gypsy girl, play

passengers on a train, gypsies
going nowhere; wheels kiss tracks
like passion-driven teens
as gypsy women dip needle and thread
into cheap and flimsy fabric,
fashion bits and pieces to sell.
pricked fingers bleed onto gingham
and voile, spit wipes it clean again.

little girls wear blue eye shadow,
swing immature hips and mimic
older sisters, thumb their nose at
mothers, aunties, and grans.
too soon they’ll be snatching cloth,
sewing, wiping blood spots away
but for now, let them frolic,
midnight eyes glittering with
mischief, too soon the cares of a
gypsy woman settle on shoulders
like a burlap shawl, hardly noticed
until the years pull it tighter, hold
her captive in a smothering embrace.

play, gypsy girl, play for the years
roll quickly by; shake your tawny locks,
clap your jeweled hands, twirl until your
skirt billows round umber knees,
laugh and sing, before the heavy
mantle of womanhood crushes
girlish patter, cares and woes
etch themselves in deep ridges
on cheek and chin, shoulders curl onto
sagging breasts, veins make maps of legs,
and thinning tresses turn to silver,
eyes dull from anger and
sometimes fear, gaps where teeth
once looked like pearls on string.

weathered faces turn to watch the
young girls dance, needles never still,
minds spiraling backward.
play, gypsy girl, play
before the years sit like a rock on
your heart. the train speeds
through the night, whistle whining,
through sleeping villages,
while gypsy women sew and
little girls with blue eyeshadow
see only tonight.