Old Acquaintance
by Robert Nisbet

The village social, New Year’s Eve,
and he’s back from Cardiff, back
in the new routine, the old routine
he’s hankered for.

At ten to twelve, the Okey-Cokey.
You put your left leg in, your left leg out,
and there she is (hey, they’re thirty now)
across the circle, receding, receding,
plunging towards him, now receding again,

until the dancing’s midnight fervour
coils itself and spins and circulates
and it’s Auld Lang Syne and he’s next to her,
arms linked, hands held, it’s homecoming,
it’s Auld Lang Syne for sure.

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