Loki and the Dancers

Loki mud‑footing through spring
pines, fireheart
blazing in warm, darkening air.

Mischief Loki jay‑dives sparrow,
pulls squirrel’s
tail, changes in the changing time.

Among long shadows, slender dancers
sway and sing
by stone‑skipping snowmelt stream.

Circle‑dancing Loki sings “I dance
like flicker‑flame
lighter than you, lighter than you

lovely dancers, but just the same,
lighter than you,
lighter than you.  I can dance til

your feet turn blue, and leaden too,
lighter than you,
lighter than you,” taunting trills

in the blackness now, tireless Loki
all night long
and liquid dancers endless moving

mystery of many arms, spirit folk,
heads bobbing
moan their lusty spring night songs

until poor panting Loki falls parched,
pooped, headlong
in an icy pool.  Wet rag Loki, muscle‑

cramped, out‑danced Loki wakens to soft
light, pale
green willows swaying in spring wind.

[Steve Klepetar teaches literature, myth and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University.  His work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.  Flutter Press has just released his latest chapbook, My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word.]

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