Silver – stanza 1.3

Courlain leapt, catching hold of another rope
Raised himself, hand over hand, struggling
On, forcing himself further on his climb to
Nowhere; when Malinov reached the rafter
Courlain had just flown from, he paused
Catching his breath as he sized up the jump
He heard Tasha call his name and turned
Losing his balance, he fell, “Go to her.”
Courlain halted his climb to witness the fall
Screamed “No!” and then he began to fall
Falling, falling, falling, continuing the chase
In an all-too-fatal race to the bottom
The last ten meters were hidden, thankfully
From my view, sparing me the horrific sight
But I was not spared the awful sound
An aural memory that will haunt me forever
I turned to Allison and Madame Tasha
Expecting to find them shocked, devastated
By the proximate and grisly death of two
Men they knew and even seemed to love
But they chatted on, old friends reunited
Even though Allison had seen Madame Tasha
Every day for months, when ambulances
Arrived and began to scatter the crowd
Madame Tasha took a hold of my arm
“Come along now, let’s go,” she said
I asked if we shouldn’t give a statement
To the police; “Don’t be silly,” she said
“They’d never believe us if we tried.”

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Silver – stanza 28.2

“Allison,” he said. She looked over. “Silver.”
She blinked and her composure began to fail
A long year of separation snapped to an end
Only hours after she’d realized he was gone
I stood a few feet away, lost in my love
For her as she recognized this man she clearly
Loved, more than she loved me, although
They were only just now meeting, we’d
Known each other for centuries and more
I watched as I kissed Allison, every day
Of the long year melting in our lips touch
Courlain erupted, racing over screaming
Cursing and blaspheming as he thrust Malinov
Away from his protégé, taking a look
At the intruder and shouted, “You!”
“Randolph,” said Allison though we knew
Him by a different name, “Stop pretending”
“I will have you again,” he said racing
Away; Tasha appeared with a touch
“Malinov, go get him before he hurts himself
Silver, are you with us again, is that what
I’m to believe from Courlain’s histrionics?
I guess his scheme didn’t play out
According to his egotistic machinations
He’s always like this when he doesn’t
Get his way, look at him, how high
He’s climbed, I would have thought he’d
Have fallen by this time, there he goes
Again, Hey, Malinov! Go to her!

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Silver – stanza 27.2

I think we can pin-point the moment of
Silver’s complete return as she realized that
Within her – I mean Allison’s – affection for
Courlain screamed a suspicion, a distrust
That wasn’t vague, no spark of intuition
But stark fresh memories that reached
Through centuries of this man and yet not
In a way she fully understood, a richer
More developed relationship than a young
Woman could know and she relaxed
To Allison, the confusion of the past six months
Put her off balance, left her mind a mess
To Silver, everything made perfect sense
She knew Courlain was scheming, placing
Me in her path, plotting his untimely death
She knew Tasha, knew what she meant
Could only hope to know what Tasha wanted
Most of all, she realized Malinov had yet
To make an appearance, knew then that
She needed to watch for him, for tonight
The Gala performance, would surely catch
His attention; the poems, she remembered
With a smile, they had seemed familiar
And, at once, she knew why and where
She could find him once the show ended
Adding another new ritual to her routine
She read through his poems, feeling
His words, his voice, his presence, his touch
And began selecting her shoes to dance

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Silver – stanza 26.2

“Oh my God,” said Silver, “He’s Courlain.”
“Who?” asked Malinov, “Brandon?”
“I didn’t see it right away. He thinks he’s
Being clever, disguising himself stylistically.”
“Does he know?”
“What?”
“Does he know you recognized him?”
Silver laughed. “Not a chance.”
“How do you know?”
“He’s too busy being pleased with himself.”
“Why is he here?”
“Revenge, I’m sure. That’s how he thinks.”
“It’s been more than a hundred years.”
“Nothing to a man like Randolph.”
“So what do we do?”
“You just carry on as usual. I’ll take care of him.”
“I almost feel sorry for him.”
Silver laughed. “Don’t bother.”
“You haven’t told me very much about him.”
“No, I haven’t.”
Malinov waited, letting the pause plead for him
Silver paid him no mind. She rarely deigned
To tell him about her past, about the rest
Of the immortals, looking hard past him
“Nothing is ever simple,” she said sadly
“I’ll send him on a goose chase, get him.
Away and distracted. I wonder if Tasha
Is here too, somewhere nearby watching
I’d better find Razor, he’ll know more.”

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Silver – stanza 25.2

“Allison Walker,” Malinov said aloud, trying
The sound as though it might reveal her presence
But Silver wouldn’t have selected a vessel
Because of the name, or would she, he wondered
The reasons Silver had were her own, and they
Were never wrong, not in his experience, once
She was truly Silver again, this past year
Some simple woman found herself prodded
By right decisions and barely audible voice
Speaking nothing but wisdom, was it she?
The handbill held the hallmarks, a woman
Almost past her dancing prime suddenly
Attracts the attention of the dancing elite
They said nothing in Allison’s background
While replete with training and practice
Really explained her skill and familiarity
With techniques from every era of ballet
A living museum of a forgotten past
Unrecorded, passed from teacher to student
In long lines that never intersected Allison
But the exaggerated praise of a few art patrons
Hardly constituted proof of anything
Malinov needed ocular proof, the recital
Would reveal everything, but looking
At her name listed alongside mine, he
Knew that Silver had chosen this vessel
And reunited, they would take off together
Which frightened me, because I love Allison
And which frightened me because Malinov died

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Silver – stanza 24.2

“Courlain wants to ride this life out, but frankly
We’re growing bored. Swamp life isn’t fulfilling
Our basic adventurous needs, you remember
Of course you do, the Americas appeal to his
Coarse need to dominate, control and kill
And while there is a measure of fun in playing
The white goddess, I crave a cultured, intellectual
Experience and there is none of that in this new world”
“You have a plan, of course.”
“Randolph is a child in so many ways. Nothing
Could be easier than making him jump.”
“I’m surprised he’s not more wary of you.”
“Egotistical pride. He loves himself so much
He really can’t imagine that I wouldn’t.”
“Doesn’t sound worthy of you.”
“He has his charms.”
“I assume.”
“I’ve selected a vessel for you. He has
Some talents, I think you’ll approve. I’ll
Point him out at the Anderson’s party.”
“Why don’t we take off now.”
“He’d love that, chasing us down. This way
Is much more certain. You’ll take the boy
Over and I’ll follow you a few months later
Randolph won’t know who we are before
We’re long gone and finding people who don’t
Want to be found isn’t easy, n’cest pas?”
“I know it all too well.”
“I’m glad you’ve found me, Malinov.”

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Silver – stanza 23.2

“I have only just arrived,” replied Tasha
“I danced with her in Kiev,” said Courlain
“When was that?” Allison asked
“1904, I think it was,” said Tasha, smiling
At Courlain as she rekindled the memory
“But,” I said and then stopped, She was
An older woman, in her fifties, ancient
For a dancer, but not nearly old enough
Perhaps her grand parents danced in ‘04
But she never did, and Courlain in his thirties
Might have danced in 2004 but never that
Long ago – I hushed myself, deciding they
Were putting us on, having a laugh
Tasha began to describe a performance
Deep in the heart of a terrible Russian winter
Ice forming on the curtain and sets
A shimmer of reflective jewels shrouding
The precision performance of two youths
In their prime, moving strongly, deftly, delicately
A perfect moment captured in memories
Lost to everyone who wasn’t there, a myth
Passed from soul to soul, fading over time
“You two,” said Tasha warmly, taking our hands
“You will know the joy of sharing such an experience
Placing your hearts in each other’s strong hands
It is more than mere love, this sharing
In the act of creation, expressing between
You the feelings others dream but cannot know
For they lack the indomitable will of life

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