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George Witte: After the Recent Unpleasantness

Don’t take this the wrong way but
maybe given everything, given what
remains—how much, how many more—
it wouldn’t kill you to consider
dancing, just this once, alone
in backyard secrecy while dawn
arrays dishevelled underclothes.
Then neighbors grab binoculars, behold
slow pirouettes through sprinkler mist,
jetés across damp grass and whisper Jesus Christ
he’s lost it should we call, should we
make sure he’s okay?
                       Or should we join,
awakened from malignant spell
extend numb arms to touch
forbidden hands and lips again,
feet bare, legs flexible as boughs
alive with muscle memory.
And if authorities object
so what, let commuters late for trains
jump in as chanting children count and turn
their rope beneath quick feet,
let garden gnomes transform
to dervishes and whirl
reborn, and let the sleepless
be absolved from vigilance,
find diurnal rhythm in held breath
exhaled and deeply drawn because
this dance keeps time,
immense but delicate,
revolving atmospheres and stars
as dew depends from amaryllis scapes
until the sun, made ravenous,
consumes each trembling globe—
your legacy, 
for now.  

Copyright 2022 George Witte

George Witte’s collections of poems include Does She Have a Name? (NYQ, 2014). He is editor-in-chief of St. Martin’s Press.

Lawn sprinkler in morning light (source: Bob Vila)

2 comments on “George Witte: After the Recent Unpleasantness

  1. loranneke
    July 7, 2022

    What a dance of a poem! “It wouldn’t kill you to consider
    dancing, just this once, alone
    in backyard secrecy while dawn
    arrays dishevelled underclothes.”!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on July 7, 2022 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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