Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Poem #17

Classic Ballroom Dances
by Charles Simic

Grandmothers who wring the necks
of chickens; Old nuns
With names like Theresa, Maryanne,
Who pull schoolboys by the ear;

The intricate steps of pickpockets
Working the crowd of the curious
At the scene of an accident, The slow shuffle
Of the evangelist with a sandwich board;

The hesitation of the early morning customer
Peeking through the window-grille
of a pawn shop; the weave of a little kid
Who is walking to school with his eyes closed;

And the ancient lovers, cheek to cheek,
On the dance floor of the Union Hall,
where they also hold charity raffles
on rainy Monday nights of an eternal November.

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