We come from under winter sun-lit skies
And, from first opening the door, we hear
Such golden flourishes of sound pour out
From silver strings that brighter smiles break forth.
Then, for not quite five hours’ space of time,
I almost float across the polished floor.
When words need scarce be said—hands, bows, and smiles
Exchanged amid each passage through the dance—
My heart cannot but leap for joy to see,
Experience, this poetry in motion:
Swirling kilts and gowns, and lifted arms,
And swift and graceful figures round the floor.
And all this cheer is fitting for this time,
For we have gathered, joined, to celebrate
Our well-loved dancing-mistress’ nuptial bliss.
Amid the guests her friends from near and far
(Whom I count it an honor to have met),
The latter lingering before farewells
While we make ours, and bundle into coats,
And give felicitations to the bride,
And carry instruments into the teeth
Of what must be the winter’s first real snow.
I wrote this poem about this time last year, after a wonderful time at the ball held by my Scottish country dance teacher in honor of her wedding.
As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.