Poem: Dancing on Boats

Dancing on boats_resize

Dancing on Boats

The diner is empty.
There is no music playing.
Downstairs, the cook is in the prep kitchen.
The waitress has not arrived.

The silence suits you.
You breathe it in like wine,
tired of the constant dancing on boats,
the ground beneath you has turned to water.

You are not the dervish you once were.
There is less of you and your dance is a simple thing.
You no longer believe in fixing souls,
only loving them, offering not solutions

but questions they can take or reject,
and still be loved no less.
There is less of you
and it is an improvement.

Slowly, everyone comes up, comes in.
There is bacon on the grill. Potatoes,
freshly cubed and seasoned, bake.
The waitress refreshes your coffee.

The silence is done. Soon others will come too,
calling out orders, calling out their deepest secrets
in public. Someone will remember to turn on the music.

No matter. You have had just enough time.
Just enough of you has emptied itself in the silence,
and like a young man again, you are ready
to dance on boats, with joy.

About this poem

This started out as an essay, but it sounded whiney. Hopefully, this one doesn’t.

The picture was taken in Venice.

Tom

7 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Tom, with its perspective on finding renewal in the smallest moments of quietude.
    The imagery of being able to once again “dance on boats with joy “is memorable, along with the insight, “You no longer believe in fixing souls, only loving them, offering not solutions but questions they can take or reject, and still be loved no less.“
    Thank you once again, Tom.

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