By | 15 February 2023

Unsteady now on those once-famous feet.
Damn those rugs on top of worn carpet en
route chest of drawers that connected with
forehead when he tripped and fell.
Retired dancer, elderly neighbour,
an oak taken down, not by a gale
but timing and a nondescript rug.
Dancing Goliath once held ballerinas
aloft: Paris, London, cities of Australia.
Adelaide boy-become-butterfly became
devil/god of the stage with a world
in his strong hands. Giant in silver paint
upon whom dancing swans depended.
Near naked girls were entirely safe,
audiences entirely in awe.

Today, in a small Melbourne upstairs flat,
Lew has almost come to rest, cautiously
leaving sofa to make his way to kitchen
or toilet. Tea and toast. Avoid sweets, old boy.
That outdoor flight of stairs must be negotiated
despite having lost ability to fly and two toes.
Diabetes. Leading man now leads with ‘good’ leg.
Bit of shopping, appointments with doctors
then back to photo albums, knickknacks,
pot plants, ageing costumes in the closet.
What’s become of Lewis? This, of course,
but what of it? The sun, our favourite star,
will burn out. Every star dims eventually
but not many shine so brightly
before their fuel is spent.

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