Nocturnal Fox Trot

Cuddled as one for over sixty years, no longer in need
of very much sleep they rise together, eyes wide awake
after a few hours of serious snoozing. A nightly ritual
begins at two A.M.

Alongside a mandatory bouquet of white roses, it’s tea time
in the bedroom on top of the bed; peppermint tea for her,
Lemon-Zinger for him, savoring Lorna Dunes remembered
from childhood lunchboxes, that become “souvenir involontaire
Madeleines,” awakening memories of a forgotten past.

As in a Japanese tea ceremony, they become fully present.
After sipping hot tea, withered bodies dreamily
fox trot around the bed and down the hall clinging
to each other. Her flowing nightgown swirls in moonlight
as they softly sing: ”Tea for two and two for tea,
just me for you and you for me…alone.”

The nightly magnetism of the moment ends, cementing
body and soul in an enduring bond.

Ghosts of their former selves they quickly tire, vintage
bodies with fragile bones lean on each other easing
slowly back into bed, rolling over into peaceful slumber.

Milton P. Ehrlich