A Morris Dance

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.