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Square Dance



Blue-checked cotton made

to match, we court

and fluff like cranes.

Hip to hip we swing,

your eyes the pivot

for which there is no call.

In time, a change so gradual

I barely hear the moving

to another key – the words

that skip us on to split

the ring, to separate

and take the outside track,

circle up four until I stand,

birdie in the cage, pulled

to the grand right and left

by hands that slip on past.

“Gentlemen, walk single –

ladies, back to back –

remember your man as he comes

around the bend.”

Costumes and bodies blur

until your face brings a lift of song –

the feel of the bones of your back,

arms circling me home,

swinging me round and round –

layers of slip lifting from my legs,

the two of us slowing the pace,

swinging the pure spin seen

from space – blue earth

layered with drifts of white.


Barri Armitage

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012