A woman walks by the bench I’m sitting on
with her dog that looks part Lab, part Buick,
stops and asks if I would like to dance.
I smile, tell her of course I do. We decide
on a waltz that she begins to hum.
We spin and sway across the street in between
parked cars and I can tell she realizes
she chose a man who understands the rhythm
of sand, the boundaries of thought. We glide
and Fred and Ginger might come to mind or
a breeze filled with the scent of flowers of your choice.
Coffee stops flowing as a waitress stares out the window
of a diner while I lead my partner back across the street.
When we come to the end of our dance,
we compliment each other and to repay the favor
I tell her to be careful since the world comes to an end
three blocks to the east of where we stand. Then
I remind her as long as there is a ’59 Cadillac parked
somewhere in a backyard between here and Boise
she will dance again.
As she leaves content with her dog, its tail wagging
like gossip, I am convinced now more than ever
that I once held hundreds of roses in my hands
the first time I cut open a pomegranate.
Copyright © 2017 by Kevin Pilkington. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 20, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
From Breakfast on through all the day At home among my friends I stay, But every night I go abroad Afar into the land of Nod. All by myself I have to go, With none to tell me what to do-- All alone beside the streams And up the mountain-sides of dreams. The strangest things are there for me, Both things to eat and things to see, And many frightening sights abroad Till morning in the land of Nod. Try as I like to find the way, I never can get back by day, Nor can remember plain and clear The curious music that I hear.
This poem is in the public domain.