Distracted by inconsequence I rarely realized
I had a faithful partner dancing by my side,
step by step, move for move, in perfect harmony,
I’d catch his shadow fleeting in the corner
of my eye; sometimes viewed en pointe, graceful
as any swan, other times such frenzied moves
to bring St. Vitus down, pale and wan with spite.
My partner smiles but rarely, unless the mood
becomes macabre, but swaying always on my left,
he is my boon companion, Angel of peculiar mien,
neither good nor evil. Equal-treating all he meets,
he counts each living step, dancing counterpoint,
two-step, three-step, patient pacing on and on,
devoted to the life’s rhythms—until the dance is done.

—PJ Thompson