©2019 by POV Publishing. 

MILAKA FALK

Daddy Daughter Dance by Milaka Falk

 

In a big room filled with paintings, there stands in front of a large canvas

a little girl in sequined shoes and her daddy

He talks.  She dances.

 

What do you see?

RED!

Show me!

The little girl twirls with her hands out, her face to the ceiling

She twirls and spins and giggles until she falls

Laughing, her daddy scoops her up and sets her back down

What else do you see?

BLACK!

Show me!

The little girl plants her feet, wiggles her rear

She raises her hands to her face and circles her fingers

Laughter fills the space

Look closely.  What is the red?

A house made of bricks!

And the black is . . .

THE BIG BAD WOLF they cry together

He chases her, huffing and puffing until he catches her and eats her up

 

A pause.

 

Daddy, do we have paints at home?

Yes, sweetie.

I wanna go home and paint!

Then that’s what we’ll do.

And they go home.

And they paint.

Trees and dogs and flowers

Houses made of sticks, of bricks and of gingerbread

They paint ponds and clouds and ducks

And when the paint is gone, the little girl dreams

 

 

In a big room filled with paintings, there stands in front of a large canvas

a girl with a paper coffee cup and her dad

He talks.  She sighs.

 

What do you see?

A red blob.

Show me

The girl shifts her cup from right hand to left

Lifts one hand and draws a circle in the air with her finger.

She sighs.

What else do you see?

Black squiggles

Show me

The girl shifts her cup from left hand to right

Lifts one hand and flicks her fingers as if to make someone disappear

She sighs again

Look closely.  What is the red?

A blob

And the black is . . .

She stares at her dad

Squiggles

He sighs

 

A pause.

 

Dad, do we have coffee at home?

Yes, sweetie.

I wanna go home and make a decaf

Then that’s what we’ll do.

And they go home.

And she makes a decaf.

And they sit in silence in separate rooms

And when the decaf is gone, the dad dreams


 

In a big room filled with paintings, there stands in front of a large canvas

a young woman with new shoes and her father

He talks.  She fidgets.

 

What do you see?

Red

Show me

The young woman shakes her head and shrugs

She taps her toe

What else do you see?

Black

Show me

The young woman shakes her head again

And shrugs

She taps her fingers on her thigh

Look closely.  What is the red?

My deadline

And the black is . . .

My life

The father chuckles

 

A pause.

 

Pops, do you have beer at your house?

Yes, sweetie.

I wanna come over and have a beer

Then that’s what we’ll do.

And they go home.

And they have a beer

And they talk of deadlines and resumes and

Houses with picket fences

And when the beer is gone, they both dream


 

In a big room filled with paintings, there stands in front of a large canvas

a new mom with a tiny baby and a grandfather

He talks.  She sways.

 

What do you see?

A new life.

Show me

The new mom hands the grandfather the wriggling bundle.

He touches a tiny cheek

A chubby hand grabs his thumb

The new mom smiles.

What else do you see?

My nights!

Show me

The new mom closes her eyes slowly, then springs them open

Four times

Look closely.  What is the red?

The future

And the black is . . .

My nights!

They smile

The baby stirs and starts to cry

 

A pause.

 

Grampa, we have to get him home

Yes, sweetie.

It’s time for his nap

Then that’s what we’ll do.

And they go home.

And the baby naps.

And when the nap is gone, no one dreams


 

In a big room filled with paintings, there stands in front of a large canvas

a little girl pushing a wheelchair and her daddy

She talks.  

 

What do you see?

Watery blue eyes lift to the top of the canvas

Show me!

Blink, blink

What else do you see?

The gaze floats to the bottom of the canvas

Show me!

Blink, blink

Look closely.  What is the red?

A fragile hand with thin skin comes to rest on her cheek

And the black is . . .

The hand withdraws to his chest

 

A pause.

 

Dad?

A breath

Do you wanna go home?

A breath

Then that’s what we’ll do.

And they go home.

And he sleeps.

And he dreams

Of trees and dogs and flowers

Houses made of sticks, of bricks and of gingerbread

Of decaf coffees in empty rooms

Of deadlines and beer

Of tiny hands and tiny cries

Of daddy daughter dances

 

And when he is gone

 

In a big room filled with paintings, there stands in front of a large canvas

a little boy in a Batman t-shirt and his mommy

She talks.  He dances.