Would it surprise the young men
playing softball on the hill to hear the women
on the terrace admiring their bodies:
The slim waist of the pitcher. The strength
of the runner's legs. The torso of the catcher
—rising off his knees to toss the ball back to the mound?
Would it embarrass them
to hear two women, sitting together after dinner,
praising even their futile motions:
The flex of a batter's hips
before his missed swing. The wide-spread stride
of a man picked off his base. The intensity
on the new man's face
—as he waits on deck and fans the air?

Would it annoy them—the way some women
take offense when men caress them with their eyes?
And why should it surprise me that these women,
well past sixty, haven't put aside desire
but sit at ease and in pleasure,
watching the young men move above the rose garden—
where the marble Naiads
pose and yawn in their fountain?
Who better than these women (with their sweaters
draped across their shoulders, their perspectives
honed from years of lovers) to recognize
the beauty that would otherwise
go unnoticed on this hill?
And will it compromise their pleasure,
if I sit down at their table: to listen to the play-by-play
and see it through their eyes?

Would it distract the young men—if they realized
that three women laughing softly on the terrace
above closed books and half-filled wine glasses
are moving beside them on the field?
Would they want to know how they've been
held to the light—till some motion or expression
showed the unsuspected loveliness
in a common shape or face?
Wouldn't they have liked to see
how they looked down there—
as they stood for a moment at the plate—
bathed in the light of perfect expectation
—before their shadows lengthened. Before they
walked together up the darkened hill—
so beautiful they would not have
recognized themselves.

– Joan Murray

from Looking for the Parade