poem05 Nov 2018 05:16 am

You were too timorous for us,
old husk that weighed us down
like an anchor.
You cared what gossips whispered.
You stalled and repented and wept
when we would have leapt.

The scarlet silk called to you, true,
but in the end you had a grey soul
more suitable to prim pumps
or straight-laced oxfords
than for dancing slippers.
Seven-league boots would have done for us
almost as well
but you’d never have tugged them on.

Once the red shoes wrapped around us,
we knew we were meant for more
than sermons and solicitude,
cradles and kaffe-klatches.

So when you cried out to the woodcutter,
we rejoiced,
glad to be cut free of you at last.

Dance, now we dance!
Out of shadowed forests,
away from the cemeteries,
beyond the suburbs,
to crater’s rim and glacier’s hulk,
through blizzard and sirocco
to foreign cities’ din and crush.

You couldn’t grimace through the pain,
reach that place where you
forget the audience,
forget even yourself.
But we know—we know!—
we never needed you.
Pirouetting through the theatre of the world,
we are the Dance.


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