The Peace Dividend

Belmont Dance Party – Acrylic and house paint on stained particle board. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso

While we were all in Berlin

the wall



For us

dancing, reveling

in a club called Berlin

under an elevated train track

in Chicago,

the imagining

of destruction

of the human pen,

of walking across no man’s land

at the border

and into the other side

to see lost relatives

and memories,

was all just a fleeting rush

of cool air

with just the right music

on a hot dance floor

abounding in silliness

or maybe not;

no more hiding under desks

for air raid drills

or living like that Prince song.

But imagine what it felt like

over there.

The real sight

of an opening

forty years in the making.

The tactile satisfaction

of taking the sledge to concrete.

The immemorial poignancy

of taking one’s lost other

into one’s arms

in unity.

And in Washington

a moment of hope –

there was to be no more war,

for it was time to spend on butter

now that the big guns were not needed.

Overnight, so much more

seemed possible.

Over time, so much more

seemed a little too ambitious.


While we were all in Berlin

the wall



-Danny Grosso




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