ancestors

practising my juggling
one day in Oxford
a passing priest
asked if I’d do a show
at an old folks home
at the end of the street

a few days later
I showed up
suitcase and suit
and met a few dozen
elderly Catholics
all
exceedingly posh

it was that one perfect show
not a single drop
and all my hardest tricks
sometimes it just slots together
and there’s something
sublime

three ball pirouette
heel flick to fountain
four ball mill’s mess
fifth ball taken from toe
three minute club routine

in my overblown imagination
that faultless performance
came to mean something

me and the ancestors
honouring
each other

"5 balls East Oxford Community Centre"