We stood at intermission, sipping wine from plastic “glasses”
As the crowd surged, some urgent, some aimless, around us.
We hadn’t much to say as we watched the passing scene;
Enough vanity for a king’s court, enough jewels for a queen.
A woman who by rights should have been bent by age
Stood at the bottom of the stairs, as if to enter a stage.
She strode, her carriage erect, across the hall with a presence
That suggested youth and denied her senescence.
I asked “Do you know her?” and came the answer:
“That white-haired old woman? She was once a dancer.”
Anthologized in “Bliss.”