James Walter Orr

Rookie (02, June,1930 / Amarillo, Texas, U.S.A.)

First Dance - Poem by James Walter Orr

I watch from the shadows like some sort of a
Peeping Tom,
while the echoes of the past wash over me like the
gentle waves of a peaceful sea.

I have no conscious wish to watch, but I am paralyzed
by some strange force; held helpless in its grasp,
and I cannot turn my head.

The shame of my weakness burns my face, and washes
down my body, turning my vitals into torches
which light the old fires of what could have been.

What strange fate brought me to this particular place
at this particular time?

What cruel trick of the gods has rolled back the constraint of the years
and pierced the armor of the ages, built up by the passage
of time, like the pearl that forms in the oyster?

I shake my head to clear the cobwebs of the past
and tear myself loose from the fresh heartbreak
that looms, if I fail to heed my mind and turn my head away.

Yet, some message seems to pass from the tortured, sensuous
movements of your dance,
and the projections of another emotion.

With a volition of their own, apart from all my perceived wishes,
my feet take a step forward, and the moonlight strikes my face.

With a casual intensity that could only come from
a preordained script,
your next step carries you into my arms,
and the slow-motion dream of the present takes on
the urgency of the future
as I lead off into our first dance.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Poem Edited: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

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