The Old Lover


The old lover

handsome in that rugged way

comes to your table

holds out his hand

and asks you to dance.


You know you can follow

that ancient desire

into his arms

two-step across the scuffed wood floor

intoxicated by a mind-fogging cologne.


But then you remember

how, in his aggressiveness,

he steps on your toes

twirls you

and flings you across the room.


You recall that jittery discomfort

the excitement hangover the next day,

and the remorse

over those

you slammed into.


So instead you call on the Beloved

smile and decline the offer.

You move into the Comforting Arms

and waltz in the smooth, floating glory

of love.

Image by Amalesh Krien



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6 Responses to “The Old Lover”

  1. Liz Macdonald April 27, 2016 at 7:46 am #

    Beautiful, as ever, Lesley. You are so clever with your layers of meaning and at making poetry which is universal. I’m excited to have just received my copy of All in for Love and can’t wait to dive

    • Lesley April 28, 2016 at 10:30 am #

      Thank you, Liz. I hope you enjoy the book, and I appreciate you buying it! This poem came to me during a mediation, when I realized I had a choice whether or not to be angry and dance with the old lover, or to stay neutral and in the love. It was wonderful to waltz with the Beloved.

      • Liz Macdonald April 28, 2016 at 10:46 am #

        How wonderful!

  2. Kelley Kieve April 28, 2016 at 9:57 am #


    This is such a beautiful poem, maybe one of my favorites yet!! The photo completes the whole literary image!

    • Lesley April 28, 2016 at 10:32 am #

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Kelley. It was such a wonderful realization for me, really recognizing I have a choice in every moment. And the photo is by my new beau, and I will pass along your praise.

  3. John Catelli April 30, 2016 at 6:42 am #

    Men to get there feet stepped on while dancing..
    Thank You for a lovely treat.

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