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The whiskey on your breath  
Could make a small boy dizzy;  
But I hung on like death:  
Such waltzing was not easy.
 
We romped until the pans  
Slid from the kitchen shelf;  
My mother’s countenance  
Could not unfrown itself.
 
The hand that held my wrist  
Was battered on one knuckle;  
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.
 
You beat time on my head  
With a palm caked hard by dirt,  
Then waltzed me off to bed  
Still clinging to your shirt.
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Max Sawhill
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