susan danced the tango

There is a whisper in the timber walls
Of a homestead in Bariloche
And if you listen carefully,
You’ll hear the story of a young gaucho
And how he was taken by the hazel eyes
Of a woman whose happiness
Emptied out of her nostrils
And leaked from her ears
Quietly as she waited for something
That had long escaped her
He watched her skin brown in the wind
And felt moved to love
Susan danced the Tango

It was the reaching out that made her
Leave the presence of mind
The smell of leather, unfamiliar oils
And treatments thereon
And the cut of a pair of trousers,
Tied at the waist with a long sash
That made her forget the threads
In the curls in her hair
That made her forget the lines
Embedded below eyelashes
And brought to mind a flutter
Of old wings beating to new rhythm
Susan danced the Tango

The convenience of faces stored electronically
Led to a reassurance
As well as an empty space being emphasised
And determined her identity
Those tiny extracts of her brought home
The seasons and the years until
A hand, heavier than hers, brushed aside
The clues of her life from an island
So ancient that even she had forgotten its ancestry.
She was no longer the
Grandmother but instead, in the winds
And beneath the clouds of a Patagonian sky
Susan danced the Tango

So much of her life had raced by under the pressing
Needs of agendas set in sandstone
So much time had been devoted to the creation
Of a thousand new beginnings
Nothing had been saved for a time
Yet to come and her internal resources
Had to be trapped daily and cajoled
To return to work in agreement with some
Vague union of service providers inside her mind
Inside her body, so when the smell of
A man of roughened hue and an accent
That carried no lisp fell across her lips
Susan danced the Tango

All things may pass
But still
Quite unexpectedly
Exceptionally beautifully

Susan danced the Tango.

★ ★ ★

Text: © J. L. Nash, 2011
Image: © Roberto Foddai, 2011


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