african dancer

by Hazel Crawley

Moved by a slim
A more insistent pulse
than that which drums
The life-blood through his veins
The dancer leaps
No, corkscrews into space
And then returns
By deft glissando to
Dynamic earth

Along the raw
Primal percussive thread
A million cells
Which have no need of light
Contract expand
Propel him here then there
Down ancient paths
My ancestors knew well

And though my brain
Is well glazed with veneer
I smile to see
One foot is still alive

“African Dancer” appeared in Crawley’s collection Erratica (1975).

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