the dance


I find myself at a confluence of Big Life Events: two years since moving to our cozy condo after The Big Downsize; two months until my son returns from his six-month stint in Ghana —  events connected with reference to the following poem.

Suffice it to say, he is much on my mind as we have begun to discuss what music to dance to next June 29th. Another Big Life Event. For all of us!! And we are prepared, having danced and played many rhythms en duet through these past two decades of his growing up.

They lean, one fore, one aft, a
moving frame in simple walk
sway side to side, their steps
acquired through pairing years.

One bends to pull, his partner
shifts. their balance sure,
contact complete –
their steps complex, a turn,
a feint, a helping hand;

their rhythm known
between themselves – no music
tells the when or where; their

watchful coach scans their steps,
hand out to guide
their moving feet,

as one’s hips swivel
subtle ocho, settle, place;
a few slow preparatory breaths;
then the measured

the key of breath, the angled pitch,
bracing hard with all they’ve got
against forces from behind, two men

hoist our baby grand
up stairs to level ground.


two selves dancing


I rock, sway in this dance of selves
one drawn to dally, drift, dream;
one pulled to tasks – none essential
though demanding Do!  Deliver!

One drawn to dally, drift, dream
pinned down fast by expectation
though demanding Do!  Deliver!
these tasks are naught but noise and vapor.

Pinned down fast by expectation
I struggle to be free from all
these tasks – naught but noise and vapor –
better to be the stuff of dreams.

I struggle to be free from all,
merge dancer and work weary other;
better to be the stuff of dreams,
idea and action reunited.

Merge dancer and work weary other
one pulled to tasks – none essential.
Idea and action reunited
I rock, sway in this dance of selves.


* This pantoum is an experimental poet-partner prompt between Sarah W. Bartlett and Jeannine Bergers Everett.This initial project started as a dialogue/riff on our respective blogging about wholeness and living a divided life. We are poet-sisters-of-the-heart who continue to cook up surprising and delicious new concoctions. So sit back, pour another cuppa, and enjoy!!