Hard times far down but up this high

we dance at the party of demi-centenarians —

clinches, clasps, faux pearls and costume gold,

layers of clothes tossed onto chair-backs,

a shimmy of drinks barring no refusal,

you and I the happiest sorry figures on the floor.

Reach across to the Chrysler Building,

silver fantails we’re close enough to palm,

glittering weave-wave of avenues, waterways,

metallic spandex of condo towers —

but frantic tick of the party clock — DJ packs up soon,

everybody now paired off with more than someone

while an old man jogs past on the indoor track

outside the glass walls of the party room,

around and around to reach a mile.

Maxine Susman lives in Kingston and teaches poetry in continuing education courses at Rutgers and the Evergreen Forum. She has published five poetry collections and her work appears in many journals.

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