HIS MOTHER DANCES
Crouched on the stairs, he sees her dance:
her feet glide over lino squares,
the wireless playing sweet and low.
She waltzes, as though in a trance,
alone, amidst pans, table, chairs,
white kitchen sink: her eyes aglow.
Those slender arms grasp empty air:
her partner is invisible.
She circles, sweeps and murmurs words,
song lyrics or a lover’s prayer.
What seems to him incredible
is how the music, like small birds,
whirls round his sleepy, tousled head
and makes him sad. The dancing stops.
His mother, hungry for romance,
settles for washing plates instead;
talks to herself, while he eavesdrops.
His father never liked to dance.