The Dancing Man
Her poem about you
Pale faced, lying in a hospital bed
It’s not how I remember you
At a Ceili in a Parish hall in Sligo.
You were The Dancing Man
Promenading to and fro
7’s to the right, rise and grind
7’s to the left, grind and sink
Making stars in both directions.
Or wild haired and spouting your doctrine
of the Divine in rocks and sod,
Striding across landscapes
like some latter day Shelley
or Bronte hero.
Women fell in love with you wherever you went.
“He should carry a Government Warning Label
like a cigarette packet,” one of them said.
You made your own then, your fingers tuned
to the pinch, roll and flick of it.
No cigarettes now. And you don’t even miss them.
Clipped wings, what you miss is the buzz and swing
Forward, diagonal, set in place
Threading your needle
To The Haymaker’s jig.