— Barbara Saxton
We dance to rhythms some find strange,
hold hands just tight enough to guide,
but never squeeze. We let our neighbors know:
we’re with you, and yes,
our music is the same.
Sometimes we drape our arms
around each others’ shoulders, or hook elbows,
crossing hands in front of bellies
warm and round from potluck meals.
When someone long a member
of our line — one who pressed
our hands in joyful greeting, his mustache
sometimes tickling as it brushed
against our cheeks, eyes twinkling
to the tempo of beloved tunes —
when that person’s final dance
is done, and earthbound music stops for him,
we feel this loss so keenly. Hesitation steps
last heartbeats longer. Footfalls land
a bit more heavily, much as we’d love to celebrate
his memory in circular perfection.
Out of our eyes’ wet corners, we watch
his widow, dancing with her head
held high, as lovely as she looked to him
for decades, when he fell in love
the first time, every time.