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Top Hat And Tails

Poetry By: BITSxOFxKINKY
Poetry



Top Hat And Tails, A Poem About An Old Tap Dancer


Submitted:Mar 24, 2012    Reads: 61    Comments: 12    Likes: 5   


Top Hat and Tails

Shuffling slowly through the crowded thoroughfare.

This crazy old man, hardly worth the time to stare.

The people just glare at this scruffy figure that dares

to hinder their headlong flight, rushing who knows where.

They don't care.

Just get out my way scruffy old man,

in your strange black and white tuxedo.

Top hat and tails,

Silver tipped cane.

You make me laugh,

you silly daft thing.

Just a quick look of scorn,

A blink of disgust.

Ignoring the hustle and bustle of the busy humanity charging by.

Pushing the shopping cart borrowed years ago, to an empty seat nearby.

Taking the board from within the trolley, he lays it on the ground.

Pressing a button on the battered radio, it emits vinyl sound.

The crackling music plays.

People turn and look at the scruffy old man,

in his strange black and white tuxedo.

Top hat and tails,

silver tipped cane.

They point and laugh,

you silly daft thing.

A quick look of scorn,

curse of disgust.

As the orchestra plays from within the scruffy, beat-up, wireless,

the music washes over his rheumatoid body, defying old age weakness.

He feels stirrings, happiness of memories flooding back overcoming,

his arthritic joints with rhythm, making his heart start pounding.

Feeling the beat, he desires to dance.

People turn, stop and stare at the scruffy old man.

In his strange black and white tuxedo.

Top hat and tails,

silver tipped cane.

They no longer laugh but still call out,

you silly daft thing.

What are you doing?

Smiles of amusement.

The old song encouraging, the old man stands tall.

Top hatted head raised proud, eyes closed to all.

Tap tap tap it beats in rhythm to the musical sound.

Canes silver tip beating the board on the ground.

Toes twitch with eagerness.

He has drawn a crowd this scruffy old man.

In his strange black and white tuxedo.

Top hat and tails,

silver tipped cane.

They stand in silence awaiting,

this silly daft thing.

What are you doing?

Why are you doing it?

Eyes shut tight, he feels the jazz swing bands from that golden age.

In his mind he enters the brilliant lights beam, awaiting him on the stage.

Big band swinging behind him, applauding crowd, he starts his show

his feet begin to move, toe to heel, double step, tap heel to toe.

Tip-pity-tap, rat-a-tat tat.

Crowd watches in awe at this scruffy old man,

in his strange black and white tuxedo.

Top hat and tails,

silver tipped cane.

Peoples hands instead of pointing,

clap in encouragement.

At this silly daft thing,

no longer crazy maybe.

Moving and swaying with the music of that wondrous time.

With exaggerated flair and grace, for one his age, body and mind

Both feet tapping, stepping frantically, rhythmically dancing mystic.

This battered Mr Bo Jangles struts his amazing footwork magic.

His feet step the beat.

The crowd call out and applaud their admiration,

at this amazing man in a black and white tuxedo.

Proud in top hat and tails,

elegant with his silver tipped cane.

As he dances his life as if on the stage,

best tap dancer of them all in his day.

No longer a silly old man,

but a tapping masterpiece.

After he finishes his dance and the crowds depart to their homes.

He bends down slowly, rheumatism returning to fill his old bones.

Picking up the many coins and dollar notes received for dancing.

People think it was for them he danced, but Mr Bo Jangles is smiling,

He gives the money, to a battered old tramp.

A man shouts "get out my way scruffy old man.

in your strange black and white tuxedo."

Top hat and tails,

silver tipped cane.

You make me laugh,

you silly daft thing.

Just a quick look of scorn,

and a curse of disgust.

by Tracey Owen & R.B.Rueby

When I was a young school girl, living in a remote English village. Occasionally through the winters coldest days, instead of walking down the steep hill to school. My two sisters, mum and I, would catch the town bus. The bus stop was in an exposed area and the north wind would blow hard. Freezing cold as we waited for the bus, our toes would go numb in our school shoes. Mum one cold snowy morning after I kept complaining of icy feet, started teaching us to tap dance. Something she had been taught as a child. So there we were all four of us every cold morning lined up in formation tap dancing. Starting with the basic steps until we were proficient enough, then Mum would add in another move to the previous sequence of steps.

In this poem, the first chorus is set to the rhythm of a few basic tap dance steps. Then each chorus after, adds a little more each time. Getting slightly more intricate as the poem progresses, just like our mum taught us to keep our feet warm.

Copyright May 2009






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