Friday, August 1, 2014

Sunrise Dancer--By Maralee Gerke--United States

Sunrise Dancer

The roadside sign said “ flagger ahead. “
Our car pulled up beside the
over weight orange-vested man.

A sign held loosely in his fingers
became a dance partner as
he passed it gracefully from hand to hand.

His thumb and forefinger raised
in a perfectly executed okay sign
he crossed his heavy ankles and saluted the traffic.

Bending his ample knees, he pirouetted
then finished the performance with a perfect curtsy.
Bowing low before the line of cars.

Was he a retired traffic cop, who ushered cars
through busy city streets, or a chubby kid
whose dad wouldn’t allow a “boy” to take ballet?

Before we could ask how he acquired such grace,
he waved us on with one more flourish of the sign
including us in his jubilant tribute to sunrise.

Maralee Gerke lives and writes in Madras, Oregon. She is and avid reader and gardener. She describes herself as a work in progress. Her poems have been published in Calyx, Exit Thirteen, Moonset, Bathtub Gin, Anthology, Nerve Cowboy, Avocet, and Tigers Eye. She has published two books of poems and has had poetry and prose accepted in several anthologies. Her work can be seen online at Shadow Poetry, Long Story Short, and Moontown Café. She recently recorded 4 poems for the Oregon Poetic Voices Project. They can be heard at One of her poems “Refuge”, was recently selected to be printed as a limited edition broadside by the Penland School of Crafts.


  1. Hello, there, Maralee! Your poem made me laugh out loud because isn't it wonderful how adept we get at all of our jobs and make them look so graceful and full of ease? I can just see this flagger going through his automatic routine! It is a beautiful poem defining nature and life and embracing all that surrounds it! I am so proud to read you here at Whispers!

    1. thanks for your insightful comment I appreciate it.

  2. Such a wonderful view to see a flagger or other official on a roadway doing 'their' thing. A joyful read...Rhoda / Expressions -

  3. Hi Maralee. What a great story woven in a great poem. I loved every bit of it. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (

  4. Thank you, Jack Horne, for the following--

    Maralee - had a chuckle picturing this : )

  5. Maralee, I could just picture the whole 'dance'. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I had to smile at the words "a chubby kid whose dad wouldn't allow him take ballet". Thank you for a well written and fun poem to read. Keep sharing your talent here with us on Whispers.
    Love, Charlene