01 October 2007

Rhine Cruising With Senegalese Dancers

Taken to task in a weary pique
of rectitude, asked where the
wide-eyed wonderment went –
the innocence. In truth I could

not say – there were moments
when the stars burned bright and
heavens glowed, events which
showed delight and naivety free

of worldly apathy – it showed
in our company but not in me.
Then the day of the Senegalese
who drank liebfraumilch from

bottles concealed in paper bags,
laughed and sang songs in French,
danced with grace on the top deck
of the boat as we cruised the Rhine.

It made sense. They acted out their way
of saying, we like the wine and we like
the view, join us if you dare. We’re not
going anywhere until the boat stops.

We left the cruise at St Goarshausen –
near Burg Katz, bound for Switzerland.
There I let a venal magic intrude, a
smile invade and purely levitate;

would we could travel with those
Senegalese I chanced, they wear
the greatest clothes, I’m amazed
at the way the women danced.
© 21 September 2007, I. D. Carswell