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Syndic Literary Journal

Retired Ballerinas Central Park West

Narrated by Gary Beck

New York

Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons   

          walking their dogs

                      in Central Park West

    (or their cats on leashes—

       the cats themselves old highwire artists)   

The ballerinas

                leap and pirouette

                           through Columbus Circle   

         while winos on park benches

               (laid back like drunken Goudonovs)   

            hear the taxis trumpet together

               like horsemen of the apocalypse   

                               in the dusk of the gods   

It is the final witching hour

                when swains are full of swan songs   

    And all return through the dark dusk   

                to their bright cells

                                  in glass highrises

      or sit down to oval cigarettes and cakes   

                              in the Russian Tea Room   

    or climb four flights to back rooms

                                 in Westside brownstones   

               where faded playbill photos

                        fall peeling from their frames   

                            like last year’s autumn leaves


Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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