Across the Common, on a lovely May


day in New England, I see and hear


the Middle Ages drawing near,


bells tinkling, pennants bright and gay -


a parade of Morris dancers.

One plucks a lute. One twirls a cape.


Up close, a lifted pinafore


exposes cellulite, and more.


O why aren't they in better shape,


the middle-aged Morris dancers?

Already it's not hard to guess


their treasurer - her; their president - him;


the Wednesday-night meetings at the gym.


They ought to practice more, or less,


the middle-aged Morris dancers.

Short-winded troubadours and pages,


milkmaids with osteoporosis -


what really makes me so morose is


how they can't admit their ages,


the middle-aged Morris dancers.

Watching them gamboling and tripping


on Maypole ribbons like leashed dogs,


then landing, thunderously, on clogs,


I have to say I feel like skipping


the middle-aged Morris dancers.

Yet bunions and receding gums


have humbled me; I know my station -


a member of their generation.


Maybe they'd let me play the drums,


the middle-aged Morris dancers.

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