Today Nonnie Augustine's poem with its revealing title Duet Between Two Performers Who Had Been Lovers evokes a moment that is perhaps all too familiar to many of us.
Duet Between Two Performers Who Had Been Lovers
by Nonnie Augustine
She dances alone in a long purple dress with thin satin straps.
The arc of her full skirt sweeps up and back as she lifts her leg.
Her curved spine, neck and arms complete the line.
She is safe and sure on stage, under the lights.
The sole musician is fierce at his keyboard.
His chords pound deep within her torso.
The two performers are one and brimming with purpose
and the audience is in thrall to their intimacy.
She dances the Maid, pious resolute, constant.
The music, a stately pavane to begin,
builds in pace and she swirls, leaps, and takes
long soldier strides until the rhythms slow,
the melody fades and the final chord sounds
as she kneels, feels she channels Jeanne d’Arc.
Silence, then the startle of applause.
The dancer dips low, and extends her arm
to her partner who bows from his waist.
When they turn to each other, she sees
remorse darken his eyes, but she turns
away. The heavy curtains close and they part.
* * * * *
Duet Between Two Performers Who Had Been Lovers is part of Nonnie Augustine's poetry collection One Day Tells its Tale to Another.