Dancer

High in the swamp maple, too far
for shouldering raccoon, a nest
of sticks and grasses. I imagine
bone and hide there too, debris
of living by necessity. High
enough for a Redtail to scan
the pasture, beak and talon poised,
high enough to search the sky
above cropped fields and summer cattle,
where a bird can wheel for joy.

But her foot taps the pedestal
of the table, and she nods, eyes
hooded. I call softly and they open.
She refuses, reluctant, closes them
again on wood and formica, the day
room, my visit. I like to think not sleep
but dance plays her mind’s eye, lifts
its theatre, reaches towards choreography
we love, stretches beyond, though time
and place sore circumscribed belie it.

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