Susanne Bostick Allen

Black Hawk Waltz

Pentagon square dance club
do-si-dos on the Concourse
generals meet with contracting officers
ruffled skirts
swing your partner.

We need a new helicopter
time for two-step formal advertising
sweetheart necklines
swing your corner.

What’s the pricetag?
The Chairman squawks cost overruns
Peter Pan collars
bow to your partner.

Congress demands full and open competition
string ties on embroidered shirts
allemand left
Russians have a new prototype
patent-leather shoes
allemand right.

Sikorsky made its best and final offer
the Deputy Secretary
leaves the River entrance
boards the shuttle for Capitol Hill
Grand right and left.

Susanne Bostick Allen retired in 2009 after 36 years in the federal government. She worked for the Army's Military Personnel Center and Intelligence and Threat Analysis Center, as well as the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, and the Postal Service. Allen is a writer, editor, singer and aspiring book artist and has studied hand bookbinding and conservation. She lives in Washington, DC.