Old Men Dancing

A fairly recent pome

“Old Men Dancing”
I sit on a rough settle
In the shade outside an inn
Watching them gathering.
Crooked men, in hand-me-down
Black suits and hats and polished shoes
Sedately stand in line.
Throat clearing and crow song
Fill the village square
With broken crockery melody.
Then silence falls,
No flag is raised or lowered
No bugler pierces the stillness.
Crackety yet graceful,
A circle forms.
Nodding, dipping, 
A wheeling of arms
And walking sticks.
No dervish troupe turned with such precision.
The circle peels open.
A deliberate curling… uncurling,
Curling and uncurling again.
The tortoise train
Snakes a dusty lane
Then out of sight
Swallowed by the twilight of trees.
I sit and drain a glass.
The black stick figures crest a hill brow
Dancing their leaden old man sarabande.
The breeze catches snatches of keening
But no intelligible words.
 “Why this procession? A celebration? A lamentation?”
 “There is no reason – it is what is done.”
The waiter brings another drink.


© coolhermit 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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