Deirdre

In the sticky, evening, Georgia heat
we danced to the sound of a lone fiddle
and two imagined guitars—

Nearby, but fading: the laughter of children
as they run to greet the truck
which will take their quarters,
and in return deliver temporary respite
from the cruel Summer sun.

The truck pulls away, piping its tinnie
music into the air in hopes of
enticing more quarters and dimes out
of air-conditioned parlors and
clean hands, eager for sweets.

For a moment the fiddle and the
truck clash like the inexperienced
brass band at the county fare
clashes with the sound of painted ponies,
calling crowds to the merry-go-round.

But then the truck turns a corner,
and its music goes with it, out of sight,
to bring recollections to another
remote corner of this small, railway town.

I look up as the music quickens and am
surprised to find a tear in your eye too
while the dance carries us apart
and down the long lines which
spit us out at the end before moving
forward and back, in rhythmic repetition
of steps we once took.

As the dance slows back down we
swing to trade places and prepare ourselves
to re-enter the lines; this time headed
down the hall, towards the children: still
laughing outside as ice-cream
cools their parched throats and sticky hands.