Pat Batt poem – Age Concern


Come here with me and view awhile
Epitome of grace and style,
Practitioners of Scottish dance
Who lightly trip and gaily prance
In mazy patterns in and out
And up and down and round about.Men garbed in kilts and sporrans, too,
With Pilling coyly hid from view.
Lasses who often must, and can,
Dance competently as a man.
Observe their feet in first and third,
Obedient to their teacher’s word.

Admire the toes, like rapier points,
The gentle creaking of the joints.
See now the lines, all ruler straight,
The sensuous curves of figure eight.
The dancers slip-step, set and turn,
Uplifted by the will to learn.

Their Strathspeys dip, their settings neat,
Though odd things happen to their feet.
Their travelling step goes back and forth,
Advancing south, retiring north,
And when they’ve done their very best
They pas-de bas from east to west.

BUT see them at the end of classes!
The ladies are no longer lassies.
The men their years have quickly doubled
And are by rheumatism troubled.
They rub their limbs with soothing lotions,
And some drink alcoholic potions.

Who need to mount the stairs turn pale
And haul themselves up by the rail,
Their muscles in that iron clamp
That means the onset of the cramp.
Others retire for half an hour
And seek the solace of the shower.
And yet, they say to everyone,
“Oh yes, we do all this for fun”!