The Tow Path
by Ray Greenblatt


Your gown is lovely
coifed hair gleaming in the moonlight
your lipstick and eye shadow distinct
lines of demarcation,
we raise our glasses
above the restaurant hush
when suddenly--
you backflip out of your chair
hop up on the glass table next to us
scattering occupants
and commence an exquisite tapdance.
I catch you in my arms
and we leap onto a passing canal barge
you threatening the dirty old steersman
with a whip to pole for all he's worth
but soon he tires so you boot him off
with one dainty pointed toe,
the maitre d' no longer agape
begins to squeeze his accordion
as we clog on the stolid deck
wood chips and sparks and rusty nails flying,
the nose of the barge booming back and forth
the wooden beams aside the tow path
like a crazed walrus.
No longer able to balance
you fall first into the drink
strewn with leaves, feathers, wisps of straw
I following through the very hole
you dug in the water--
we raise our glasses
the champagne glistening
the bubbles rising into the air,
Happy Anniversary, darling!






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