Dancing the Dance, The Hawkers Ballet

By Larry H. Spruill

With calculating, deliberate steps
of a pride of hunting lions
Eyes scanning for coins and small bills
in exchange for
bright colored bananas
skillfully shaved, skinless oranges
rainbow fabrics, plantain chips,
batteries, and a sundry of
bodega goods, goods, goods
balancing on broad round
metal plates dancing on
the head and neck of
black and brown faces
never falling
never worried about
can I or can’t I
dance the dance
above my eyes

Graceful crane-like arms
reaching toward the sky
choreographed movements
rehearsed from infancy to death
doved hands gliding
to the nest
precisely clutching the right
item with flawless agility

Dancing the dance
with rhythmic perfection
balancing their
shops and kiosks
on the streets of
Accra and Kumasi.