Dance in Four Movements

Dance in Four Movements



When they first dance,

he has no real knowledge of dancing.

The steps are hesitant, clumsy, remote,

showing the beginner’s awkwardness.

Inside, his heart dances

with great elan & flair,

a flame flickering with ignorance.

There is a great bounty yet of hope.



They meet again in a foreign land

& the grand dance resumes.

She pretends not to have followed him there.

Their bodies now understand the interplay,

energy & inertia, the mingling & grace.

It is a dance of greed & desperation,

of long history & swaying need.

Their eyes meet & they carefully proceed.

She follows his lead, the movements

bring happiness, even if it is only illusion.

Such perfection is never real.

They thank the terpsichorean muse

before parting this pas de deux.



Years later, he is dancing alone.

He thinks back with gratitude

on his partner from kinder years.

He is devoted to the memories,

the steps & routines, how this

discipline freed him from the usual,

the love that might tumble to grief.



The old man can only manage

a few brittle moves. The turns

are now accompanied by pain.

He gives his all to venture a dance

for all the dreams that have faded.

Spinning jumps now sputter forth,

mere shadows swapped for passion.

He knows the steps, but the body

refuses, and he knows the sorrow

of limits & bewilderment.

He longs for that first dance,

& a lifetime of learning,

one imperfect step at a time.
Gary Glauber
Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist.  His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. He champions the underdog to the melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. His two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press) and a chapbook Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) are available through Amazon.

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