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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, April 20, 2017.
About this Poem 

“I saw the unusual sight of a couple dancing a waltz on the sidewalk. When there were no passing cars, they would glide onto the street and then back again. An older man watched from a bench smiling and eating a pomegranate—this unlikely scene triggered the poem.”
—Kevin Pilkington

Pomegranate

A woman walks by the bench I’m sitting on
with her dog that looks part Lab, part Buick,
stops and asks if I would like to dance.
I smile, tell her of course I do. We decide
on a waltz that she begins to hum.

We spin and sway across the street in between
parked cars and I can tell she realizes
she chose a man who understands the rhythm
of sand, the boundaries of thought. We glide
and Fred and Ginger might come to mind or
a breeze filled with the scent of flowers of your choice.
Coffee stops flowing as a waitress stares out the window
of a diner while I lead my partner back across the street.

When we come to the end of our dance,
we compliment each other and to repay the favor
I tell her to be careful since the world comes to an end
three blocks to the east of where we stand. Then
I remind her as long as there is a ’59 Cadillac parked
somewhere in a backyard between here and Boise
she will dance again.

As she leaves content with her dog, its tail wagging
like gossip, I am convinced now more than ever
that I once held hundreds of roses in my hands
the first time I cut open a pomegranate.
 

Copyright © 2017 by Kevin Pilkington. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 20, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Kevin Pilkington. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 20, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Kevin Pilkington

Kevin Pilkington

Kevin Pilkington is the author of The Unemployed Man Who Became a Tree (Black Lawrence Press, 2011). He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York, New York. 

by this poet

poem

Once I undressed a tree,
got a splinter in my thumb
and decided that was it
for one night stands.

The woman next door who
dresses in clothes that make her
look like the English countryside
keeps yelling at her son
about being spoiled.

I wish I could help him,
tell