The Dance

~ after Hugo Simberg, “Dance on the Quay (Tanssi Sillalla),” 1899

On Saturday nights, in some little town,
someone with a guitar and pick or an accordion

player is there, tapping his foot at the edge
of the quay— And in summertime, when the light

in late afternoon is the color of new butter,
when the weight of the week has not yet dissolved:

who wouldn’t be tempted to step into the arms
of a partner who can twirl and lift you into the air

though his cheeks are hollow and his frame gaunt
as bone? It’s a new feeling to give yourself

so trustingly to a music you’ve never heard this close
or this clearly before. Others too are quietly waiting

their turn to step across the threshold, give
their hand to the one waiting to lead them across.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Ship burial.

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