The Ballerina’s Tale

The Ballerina’s Tale

Each night inside that dead-end bar
      on the same stool without fail,
she’d wait until the jukebox played
      “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”

Those barroom gallants jeered as they
      quickly gathered around,
to cheer each time she’d pirouette
      until she tumbled down.

While from a corner booth, dead set,
      his bloodred eyes looked on,
as he watched their pas de deux sans Mars,
      vanishing by the end of their song.

MARK MANSFIELD is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, Strangers Like You (2008, revised 2018, Chester River Press) and Soul Barker (2017, Chester River Press).  He has a chapbook titled, Notes from the Isle of Exiled Imaginary Playmates (2020, Chester River Press) due out this summer.  He received a B.A. in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.  His poems have appeared in The Adirondack Review, Anthropocene, Bayou, Blue Mesa Review, The Bookends Review, Canary, Fourteen Hills, Gargoyle, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Iota Poetry Magazine, The Journal, London Grip, Magma, Measure, Potomac Review, Salt Hill Journal, Star*Line, Tulane Review, Visitant, and elsewhere. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee.  Currently, he lives in upstate New York.

[image: Halloween Ballerina | Ronnie Boehm]

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