The gaunt hall was filled with men.
Bright badges of servitude
Glittered on khaki shoulders
As fighting men,
Their dull thoughts groping for utterance
And shifted in their seats.
The lights died
And there was silence.
A whirling lance of golden notes
Stabbed through the air.
The dull curtains swept apart.
The stage glowed llike a soft gold cavern.
And there came a dancer!
Rose pink her dress
Standing stiffly from the ivory white
Of her soft body.
Her hair a tight, tortured mass of molded jet
With little, shining gleams of an old beauty
Bringing a new light to tired eyes.
Like a fresh rose petal
Tossed fluttering down a filthy alley
Her incredibly dainty feet
Tapping the beat on men's hearts
And on pine boards.
Another whirl of glorious sound
And she was gone.
In the cast monotony of the barracks
Laid loosely in the rigid conformity of their beds
Pipe bowls blowed a dancer's rose pink
In the dark.
TenEyck Van Deusen