Where do they stand – these acrobats
who bring the crowd delight?
Is it on stage with full applause,
or waiting in the wings?
Perhaps they’re in a circus tent
awaiting the next cue;
Or simply watching, biding time
amidst the revelry.
The young one seems irresolute –
his gaze is turned aside.
The older now is in his prime,
and stands assuringly.
Their bodies are their livelihood –
with movement they convey
The follies of the noble class
while prancing on the stage.
They take us from our mundane world
more quickly than a song;
And lighter than a butterfly
they dance us into joy.
But for a moment they appear
so nimble in their form.
And turning, all our cares are gone
as they take center stage.
Now standing still, they take it in;
they understand their role.
And we, still watching, find our place
within the world anew.
Image: "Two Harlequins" at the Stephen C. Clark Collection, New York, NY
Artist: Pablo Picasso
Medium: Pastel on cardboard