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Fire House Dance, Jersey Shore - Mary Anne Anderson

Salty summer afternoons floated into ice cream nights.

I was fifteen, and all we wanted to do was

get to Long Branch

for the Friday Night fire house dance,

leave the parents to their manhattans and whiskey sours

in the parlor that smelled of cigars and Oh! de London perfume

in the crowded Rumson mansion,

where on rainy days the kids, all twelve of us,

played hide and seek,

running up and down the back staircase to the

third floor where Kevin tried to kiss me,

before cousin Jerry went to war,

before we grew into the world,

before David got drunk and crashed his Dad’s Caddy.

before Bruce Springsteen’s band got famous,

when I was still a virgin.

We swooned and whooped and twirled

on the fire house parking lot dance floor,

Rock and Roll ringing in our ears

until the eleven o’clock curfew came and went,

until we crawled into cots and dreamed of

cotton candy and salt water taffy.


Mary Anne Anderson is the author of this poem. In her senior year of High School, when she wasn’t performing at a community theatre or with a musical trio, she was “praying on paper,” as she called the art of writing poetry. Several of Mary Anne's poems have appeared in Monterey Bay’s “Plentitude of Poets” collection. Her poem “Ocean Walk” won first prize at the Marina Arts Festival, and her first chapbook, “The Road Home” - a collection of poems and photographs - was published in 2004. The second chap book, “Dreamscapes,” followed. Her one-woman show “BAR LIES. . . and other tales” premiered at the first Carmel Performing Arts Festival. She has also exhibited her photographs from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, which included poems she wrote while she was there to perform a reading of her book, “Letters to a Love Unsung/Cronicas de un Amor Eternal,” a bi-lingual love story, with an accompanying sound track composed by Grammy nominee Jasnam Daya Singh.Mary Anne received the 2014 Distinguished Poet Award from the Writers International Network in Vancouver, B.C. and was featured in a WANDOT presentation of local writers and LGBT allies at the GALA Center in SLO. Her works appear in many publications, including: VIVACE, Equitude, Solo Novo, Homestead Review, Treehouse Arts, Drabble, First Literary review, and the New Times 55-Word Short Story Contest 2016. She also hosts the Poetry/Spoken Word monthly readings in Cambria., CA.Mary Anne belongs to the Cambria Writers Workshop, and is also a member of Maui Live Poets Society.


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