Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Older Woman

The Older Woman

I knew she gave herself fully to the best tangueros.
I watched in awe of her animated femininity.
So far ahead, she was, from my level of dancing.
But then one evening she made it clear
With her eyes and a upward whip of her gaze
That I should escort her to the dance floor.

My body and hands vibrated the frequency
  of not being sure of myself.

She embraced me and said in a whisper:
"Listen only to the music. I have watched you do this.
Hold me until you can feel my heart beat with that rhythm.
Then we will walk as one, impelled by the music to move."

She melted into me; I could feel my heart slowing to hers.
And the music took away the need to impress her
Because we both stood in awe of the music together.
Our breathing became one,
Our walk came as if from one heart.

Between songs we shifted deeper into the embrace
That evening she gave me the gift, though I was not worthy of it.
Though ten years younger than I,
She was my "older woman," mi milonguera.
Tango had found her a decade before it had found me.

She showed me the gift.
The way to make tango to a woman.

To better understand "the gift," I recommend that you read this:  

Next:  Solution Six for rejection, tomorrow!


  1. This should be required reading for new, young tangueros.

  2. Beautiful, Mark. I like that one very much.

    The story you tell in your poem is why I try to give myself fully to every partner if I'm able (I'm frequently not able to for whatever reason, but I do try) - and not just the ones most likely to give me the gift back. Because you never know 1.) if that person might surprise you and offer the gift themselves, or 2.) if receiving your gift will change how they experience the dance - even if just for a short time.

    Some of the best advice I ever received from another tango dancer - Give first.

  3. Eileen: What a blush-inducing compliment! Please feel free to print it out and share. We do need mentorship to really get what tango is, don't we? I hope I can do my part to mentor others. That's really what the poem is about --an experienced woman mentoring a man. amaze me with your presence. (And ladies -- she has been dancing for just one year and a few months!) Mari, I am blessed to be one of your milongueros with whom you so fully share "the gift." Whoops, you might be afraid to write another comment. Don't worry, who reads a blog coming out of little Salado, Texas? It's still (pretty much) our little secret.

  4. Beautiful writing Mark. You really do have a phenomenal grasp of the English language. How nice that you have also managed to grasp the language of Tango so beautifully as well. Dayna

  5. I find that with my favorite dancers, at that particular moment there is nowhere else that I would want to be.
    Some combination of the music and the dancers and the moment bring it out.

  6. This is beautiful Mark. What a treat it was to meet you at SMITH.

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  8. "make tango to a woman"

    How absolutely luscious!


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