The village festival is almost over
But anticipation fills the night air,
For the pyre, now lit, soon will be blazing-
Yet it’s not the pyre that keeps everyone there.
No one leaves as they wait to see Leyla-
The most beautiful girl the villagers say.
This raven-haired beauty of a woman’s dimensions
Is performing the dance that will end the day.
She’s now dancing as freely as the bonfire flames
As she takes her energy from their radiant heat.
She’s as lithe and graceful as the rising smoke
As she shimmies and sways to a sensuous beat.
The musicians play softly as they keep the time
And the villagers watch as though in a trance.
Their attention is fixed on the vision before them
For all are enthralled by Leyla’s dance.
Old women recall from so long ago
How they were as vibrant and supple as she,
And how Beauty, though fleeting, once held them dear
And at least for awhile kept them company.
And all of the men (old beyond their years)
Drift back in time to a different life.
They remember with longing their youthful vigor
And they wonder what price to make her their wife.
But Leyla dances with great abandon
As glowing ashes ascend to the skies.
The fire that burns so brightly behind her
Is reflected quite clearly in everyone’s eyes.