Dancers

One sunny morning, walking by
A tiny venue, thought to try
Flamenco dance put on that day
We’d, after all, come out to play
And this seemed just as good a way
As any other might belie

So we two bought the tickets to,
Of all the shows I’ve sat unto,
One of the finest, “Cut above”
Full unto its brimming of
Beauty, grace and, yes, of love
Pleasure in every way to view

That theater would barely fit
Fifty people into it
And the flamenco troupe was small
Three dancers, a musician, all
But what a show — what vim, what gall
For we fortunate sit!

This was a little family
Which for three generations be
Immersed lifelong in the romance
Of strictly traditional dance
Giving us modern ones the chance
To glimpse a vanishing reality

Their patriarch first crossed the stage
In dignity befitting age
Clad well in but a well-cut suit
Stride in traditional boot
Their musician then was mute
And audience sufficient sage

Its own respectful hush maintain
Till he disappeared again
Satisfied that all was well
And then — it pleasure is to tell —
Before the music start to swell
A daughter of exquisite Spain

Calmly walked the curtain from
And as her theater become
Instaneously beguiled
To the front center stage defiled
Where she simply stood, and smiled
To see her audience become

Instantly standing on its feet
Her femininity to greet
And as this poet well recall
Those lauds surprised her not at all
For it had been so worth it all
That single smile, serene and sweet…

The music, too, was genuine
From a culture where hath been
Music quite a different thing
Than expectation to it bring
Those whom of softer living sing —
This voice had Nature’s harshness seen

On land from which its life must force
The dreaded blight, the dying horse
Unforgiving patriarchy
In childhood learned at father’s knee
Which ever be the enemy
Of young love, making that voice hoarse

Its visceral, gutteral cry
Existence brutal to deny
Flinging in the face of it
One man’s body — hardy, fit
Indominatable grit
To carve out an existence by!

After which we see begun
Entrance of the lead dancer, son
Star and hope of family
Their beautiful tradition be
Preserved fourth generation see
Again, mere presence by him won

That hush with which full awe express
An audience performers bless
With the true evanescence of
Artists so passionate in love
Their contribution place above
Distraction, danger and duress

And with such dedication burn
That by its practice now they earn
A gravitas belying age
A moving, breathing, living page
Of sacred text upon the stage
By which we watchers glad relearn

The ancient and eternal ways
In which the holy Tantra plays
Among us all, eternally
The sky welcomes the growing tree
And soil by sprout pierced happily
Each generation next to raise

He, entering, a jacket wore
Which surely must have weighed much more
Than any dancer could endure
While keeping every motion sure
Its each emotion plainly pure —
He must remove its gems before

Their spectacular sparking
About his lean, dark form will bring
Too much fatigue that form unto
The while its audience well view
Each gesture he will treat them to —
He must unclip the eagle’s wing!

So, having given us the chance
To savor his magnificence,
He looked around as though to seek
Someone with whom he thought to speak
Arresting his circular peek
As if by mere coincidence

At sight of a thirteen year old
Sitting beside her mother — bold,
Protective of her daughter — and
Taking his jacket in his hand
Strode before that girl to stand
And laid upon her lap for her to hold

The jacket, which she gladly took
Giving her, after, such a look
His newly shirtsleeved shoulder o’er
As caused the mom furious glow’r
Instantly did he her empow’r
When, womanly, she turns to look

For he who will her passion be
She’ll know what she desires to see
And that’s more than her mother had
Desired she know, so, hopping mad
Imperious her daughter baid
On her own lap the jacket needs must be

I laughed and laughed then, inwardly
That liberated child to see
For everybody has the right
Explore until they find delight
No matter how sadly uptight
Controlling factors be!

For we whom fortune there prefer
Honored by that performance were
Never might we have asked for more
From dancers moving on a floor
For all of Life played out before
Us, deep emotion to incur

Extacy, wonder, heartbreak, loss
In graceful graciousness there was
Unrolled in panorama to
Appreciative, wondering view
Such ill-paid blessing given to
Those lucky few of us!

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