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Poetry, Dancing for pennies

Updated on November 26, 2014
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I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

Oh how the little girls loved to dance for pennies in an old honky-tonk dive

The nickeloden blaring, playing the Bee Gees, ' Stayin' alive

Mother took them there nightly to gather pennies thrown at their little feet

They both were gifted with a rhythmatical beat

The patrons gathered ' round just to watch their little feet take flight

Tap-dancing, boogie, disco they danced for pennies til the wee hours of morning light

The more pennies thrown, the faster their little feet seemed to shine

Sometimes if they were lucky, the old man might toss them a nickel or dime

Sometimes their little feet were blistered and sore, but,

No one seemed to care enough to say, " Rest now, you need not dance anymore "

One dark night mother went to the old honky-tonk, leaving them home alone

The big, tall policeman and daddy came and took them to his girlfriends home

The little girls were unhappy, missing their mother, so they ran away and started to aimlessly roam

Mother quickly came looking and somehow got them back

Just a memory in my subconscious, kept neatly rolled up in my little girl backpack.

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    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello drbj. Yes it did provide a catharsis and I always knew my mother loved us. She was just finding her way after years in an unhappy marriage. Thank you for coming to read and comment. This piece was read by many who didn't comment. Hugs my dear friend.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      I came across these bittersweet memories, Ruby, recently and I cannot help but wonder. Did writing this poetic prose provide a catharsis for you? If it didn't, it should since you can be thankful for being returned to your mother who loved you and your sister so. Bless you, m'dear.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Harish. You have the ability to look deeply into a piece of poetry. Your comment is deeply appreciated. Thank you..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Audrey. How sweet that your parents took you to sing for the residents in a home. Glad you came back to tell me. Thank you so much...Hugs..

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

      Ruby, what a touching poem about such tiny cute tots, stretching their soft muscles too hard for pennies !

      The line " Rest now, you need not dance any more " is so apt to indicate apathy shown by the society toward such miserable existence of human beings. Don't these buds need all care and comfort to blossom into flowers ?

      Great poem and so vivid a description , and thought provoking stuff. Voted up and shared.

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      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Ruby

      I treated myself to a second look at your poem. Parts of it reminded me of the days my mother would take my sister and I to "old people's" homes where we would sing for them.

      Thank you Ruby for sharing your gift of poetry. You are amazing! Wishing you a joyous day.

      Hugs,

      Audrey

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Kevin. Glad you liked the video. Thank's for sharing and pinning...

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      That sounded mostly cute with the two little girls - until they ran away. Luckily the mother got them back with no problem. The video was entertaining and funny. I voted up, shared and pinned it.

      Kevin

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Martie. I feel your hugs. Thank you. I agree with your words about parents not realizing the damage done to a child. I'm afraid I'm guilty too. If we could just see deep enough, but at the time our troubles were considered top priority, never thinking it would hurt a child, and you are right, it's in our psyche, never to be forgotten. Thank you for being my dear friend...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Vellur. Thank you for a beautiful comment. Sometimes it's good to share memories. Cheers ...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mary. Your comment blew me away. Thank you. You said that you were blessed to have me as a friend, believe me I feel blessed to have you as well. What a wonderful community we have here, the support is amazing..Cheers my friend..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna. So many years ago but still tucked away in my backpack. I believe you are correct about the winter cold and our muse's. I seem to get melancholy after the summer. I have other memories of my childhood, some very happy, others not so good. Thank you for being my dear friend..Hugs

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Dear Ruby, I must have been away when you posted this heart-touching poem. I am sad and speechless... trying to comprehend a little girl named Ruby dancing for pennies and torn between her daddy and mommy. If all parents can but only realize that everything they do, and even fail to do, becomes everlasting memories in the minds of their children. I am sending you tons of hugs :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Memories of the past beautifully written with twinge of painful past. Thank you for sharing, your memories.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Rarely am I speechless but I find myself that way now. You are certainly a beacon to all. This poem is lovely with its tinge of melancholy.

      You've shared a moment in time that is simply amazing. A moment in time that shows us what a wonderful lady you've become through all the memories in your backpack. It couldn't have been easy but you've made it seem that way. We are blessed to have you. God bless you.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Ruby…

      I’m sorry I’m late in commenting on this treasure from your backpack. (What a great word to describe the memory and source of inspiration.) I only hope you share more of these. It is getting colder outside…and sometimes our muse will prod us to write about things we didn’t anticipate, yet can’t resist putting the words on paper. Hugs, my friend. Voted way up and shared, dear Ruby.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Manatita, I do love to have fun, and I love to laugh. You can either be happy or sad. I choose to be glad...Thank you my poet friend...

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      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Loving poem. You seem to love fun! Great! Always remain happy. Tease yourself, laugh, smile ...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you btrbell. I'm glad you found this interesting. Happy to share!

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      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Beautiful, interesting, cubes yo an image if those little girls. A sweet yet somewhat sorrowful image. Thank you for sharing this!

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Shan, thank you

      DDE, thank you

      Rasma, thank you

      Movie Master, thank you

      I appreciate you all so much...Cheers

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      Movie Master 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Ruby, your poetry is as fragile and delicate as a whisper - beautiful!

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike, them old potholes are still in good repair, just an old memory mentioned by my sis Mary, it began to bug me so I did what I do, wrote a poem. Happy you felt the emotion. Always good to see you....

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shyron, Thank's for telling me you loved it, so glad you enjoyed the video. I lol it was so cute, the fat girls stealing the men from the slim girls and shaking their booty. ha..Thank you...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Frank, I'm happy you enjoyed this piece and the video. I thought the video was hilarious and made me want to dance. Thank you...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mar, you can make me smile so easily with your loving words. That little girl moved forward and never looked back. My sis Mary knew about the event and she brought the subject up and of course it started bugging me, so writing is, and has always been my outlet when memories bug me. From your remark, I think you liked the video, I loved it. Thank you dear one..Hugs.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ann, super poetry is a wonderful comment. Thank you so much..

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Susan, so happy you are pinning this. Glad you enjoyed. Thank you..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DDE, you always have upbeat, positive comments, Thank you much..

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Enjoyed this and memories are always precious. Great music.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I enjoy dancing and always start up the fun in any event. Memories are just what makes all so real. You have expressed this so greatly in your wonderful words.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 3 years ago

      Ruby, what an endearing, yet bittersweet poem. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Graham. Happy you enjoyed. Thank you for coming by...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Jodah. I love to dance. I think of myself as being strong. I won't give up without trying my best. We don't always have a winning hand, so we keep on trying until we do. I don't want anyone to think badly about my mother, she was good to me, she just made some bad choices. Thank you for a thoughtful comment...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Theresa. Putting words/thoughts on paper is a good way to put it away. I was told by a good friend that her phychiatrist told her to write down whatever was bothering her, then either burn it or share it. Thank you for an understanding comment, and thank you for sharing.....Hugs and blessings...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Paula, It's funny how my muse nudges me to remember the dark events, especially in the winter months, I guess it could be labeled seasonal depression. I am fine today. Your sweet comment is beautiful! Thank you so much..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DJ., Your comment really touches me. Thank you so much. I guess you could say that I'm a survivor. My mother was good to me, even though she made some bad choices when she was young. I don't think she'd ever been to a dance until she left my father. The sad part is she always loved him, she married twice after divorcing him but they didn't last either. We made our peace later in her life. I loved her very much. Thank you so much...

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby. What a beautiful poem about this fragile memory. You certainly hit the emotional cords with this piece.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Ruby, I love it and I am glad their mom got them back. I wanted to dance watching the video how awesome.

      Thank you for this.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      what a wonderful share.. and that hairspray video was a treat i never saw the movie.. but that clip was fitting LOL great job

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Ruby,

      How you have grown and thrived from that little girl...'you can't stop the beat' is a perfect mantra for how you live your beautiful life.

      This glimpse into your past makes me love you even more as the woman and friend you are today. You cannot help but spread hope and inspiration, no matter the subject...beautiful work!

      Hey, has anyone seen my Hairspray (LOL)! Love you and hugs, mar

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      This is great! Charming story and the ending was a lovely surprise.

      Super poetry.

      Ann

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Ruby this is such a great poem. I'm pinning this one to my poetry board on Pinterest. So happy your muse is back!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Writing brings out another you once the experiences are shared. You have opened up and that is a good thing for you.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Ruby. Very interesting and different. I enjoyed it.

      Graham.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Sometimes our long hidden and even painful memories are released as great writing Ruby. This is one of those occasions. It is a sad tale, but it probably taught you something or made you stronger...I bet you are a great dancer. Voted up.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, this is so precious the manner in which you have written this poem. I think it is truly a beautiful thing to share our memories when they surface and you have shared your memories of dancing for pennies in a most memorable and creative manner.

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      Hugs and blessings

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      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ruby.....Your muse is wise. She knows when to play that old movie that's been hiding in the shady corners of your mind for decades....just in time to take your hand and walk with you through the motions....Your muse is gentle with your emotions and is oh so careful to help you remember in a way that will not frighten you again.....but help you to see the beautiful woman you've become.........This is exquisite, Ruby...UP++++ Peace, Paula

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      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Oh, Ruby, these words are written with tears and a twinge of blood to

      make the ink pink. My heart aches for that little girl dancing for the pennies. I hope you have nurtured that little girl inside of you. She will always be there.

      This poem took my breath away. But, I can tell, you are a survivor.

      God bless you, Ruby and your sister, as well.

      You did a great job, here.

      DJ.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Gail. I think I know how you felt reading this, it was bittersweet for sure. I love your comment concerning the rhythmic dance. Thank you. Hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. Sometimes it's good to open a door that's usually closed. The words, ' dancing for pennies ' came about when I was talking with my sister Mary who was older and knew about the event. After talking about it, I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I did what I usually do, put it on paper. Thank you so much..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Nadine. I have in the past written about some unhappy events in my life. I guess writing was a catalysis for removal. I'm sure this will do the same. Thank you for your kindness and understanding...

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      Gail Sobotkin 3 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi Ruby,

      Powerful. My emotions ran the gamut on this one--started sweet and fun, turned dark and scary and ended bittersweet, especially when I read in the comments that you really only saw you dad twice. The poetry is beautiful and rhythmic, just like a dance.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

      Hugs,

      Gail

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Ruby, this is a glimpse into a part of your life I never knew. I'm so glad your mother came and took you back. I would have done the same thing.

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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you for sharing these memories the way you did through poetry and I'm glad to have read your replies above. How sad for your mother and that you carried her hurt so deeply within you. You can release it now. xxx

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Audry, always good to see you. Thank's for your constant encouragement for my poetry. Hugs Dear Audrey..

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      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Memories such as these are priceless. Thanks Ruby for sharing both your memories of dance and your amazing talent. Hugs, Audrey

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh Leslie, so good to see you on hubpages. Bittersweet is a perfect choice for this memory. I think I told you that I never knew my father, my mother left him when I was two. I only saw him twice, one time that night and at his funeral when I was eight. He was killed when he was 49, cutting down a tree that hit him, he only lived nine hours. My mother always loved him but couldn't put up with his womanizing. She took me by my hand and went outside the hospital to cry behind some shurbbery. His girlfriend was at his bedside. Thank's for coming by. I appreciate you...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Jo. I guess I've got more memories stored away in my backpack. My mean old muse loves for me to dig deeply on a cold windy day, lordy I can't write without rhyming. Ha..Thank you so much...

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill and thank you. Funny how old memories seem to come around when summer is over and the cold seeps in. True story I'm sorry to say, many moons ago but still vivid remembering that night...

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      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Loved this bittersweet memory, Ruby. You got grit girl - this insight into your childhood proves it...

      hugs gfxx

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      Tobusiness 3 years ago

      Ruby, those little feet must have been sore indeed. I hope you'll be opening up that old backpack again. Voted beautiful and interesting, couldn't seem to find delightful. :)

      My best always.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I'm glad you opened up your backpack and shared with us. I love this, of course. Simple memories made special through the words of a gifted poet. Well done, Ruby, and Happy Monday to you.