The Polka-Dancing Bus Driver And The 40-Year-Old Mystery

from Shining My Flashlight on the Moon

He drives the airport express bus
in minneapolis
plays polka music for the passengers he drives
he works monday thru friday
the same shift everyday
but its on saturdays and sundays
that he comes alive

'my wife n I go polka dancing
every single weekend
we've developed quite a style over 37 years
we met whille roller skating
which soon led to dating and
eventually to mating
and settling down right here

now I am not a braggart
but I can say with pride and joy
that I've been graceful on my feet
since I was a little boy

people stop and watch us dancing now
we know we must look smooth
my wife and I have memorized
all of each other's moves

but one thing has always bothered me
when I was a kid
girls would never dance with me
no matter what I did
I know I wasn't handsome
the truth is I was poor
I tried hard to be friendly
I don't think I was a bore

but all the girls that I approached
simply shook their heads
I'd retreat across the dancefloor
hang out with my buddies there instead
and soon I just stopped asking them
it was easier that way
thank god my future wife
walked in the roller rink that day

last year I went to the 40th reunion
of my highschool class
my wife and I danced all the dances
the slow ones and the fast
and I saw the girls -- they're women now
who'd never dance with me
and all those awkward feelings came back
the way it used to be

so I went right up to them
though I was shaking all inside
and I said 'something has always bothered me
and left me mystified
years ago I asked you to dance
and you always said no
what was it about me that you all disliked so?'

well they stuttered and they stammered
and they said 'it wasn't you
we did not know how to dance  
we thought you knew
we never danced with anyone
we always felt like fools
we were perrenial wallflowers
all through highschool'

so one by one he danced them each
around the high school gym
his wife smiled as the girls
awkwardly tried to follow him
then he took her in his arms
and glided out the door
the 40 year old mystery
a mystery no more



This is a spoken word poem.  Words by Christine Lavin.  True story.

updated 5 years ago