I found myself on the floor,
at the base of slippery steps.
I had fallen and twisted an ankle
as I rushed down driven by
the rhythm of the crowd.

When I tried to stand,
my ankle wouldn’t hold me.
I was stuck in the swirl of light
and shadow cast by dancers.
I pondered my options:

Marooned, the music too loud to talk
and surrounded by people
too drunk to care,
a call for help was destined to fail –
and far too uncool.

At first, I sought a calmer, safer haven,
apart from all the swirling people;
someplace where I could sit
and watch.
But shelter seemed elusive.

I knew my friends and our table were
on the other side of the dance floor.
Could I make it that far
through this maze of dancers?

I propelled ahead, protecting my foot
from the dancing crowd.
I bumped into a girl,

“I’m so drunk” she giggled,
as I smiled and focused on my balance.
She turned and I forged ahead.

The music’s beat and strobe lights
intensified, making it difficult
to see and navigate.

The labyrinth challenged me,
but I was successfully edging through
dancers, as they bopped and twirled.

Then, just ahead, I saw my table,
flashing in and out under the lights.
My friends sat calmly,
passing a pitcher.

I gripped the back of my chair,
and descended –
glorious in my triumph at returning
to its comfort and security.

A friend grinned and poured me a drink.
None of them knew the journey I had
undergone, how I had conquered the
disco labyrinth. Smiling, I drank a toast
to my secret victory.

Allan Scherlen is a new arrival to poetry publishing. He spent his early life in San Antonio, Texas, and comes from a pioneer family who struggled with life in Texas after migrating. He is a librarian at Appalachian State, North Carolina but a poet the rest of the time.