I dream of dancing– Intricacies of Argentina, Ebb and flow– Grace of Vienna, Lift and swirl Through shifting scenarios.
I wake. Dancing ends. Truly, I did dance once. So many years ago. Steps, lifts, patterns Long forgotten. I tried and tried to learn That Texas Two Step. Quick, quick, slow, slow— They said. But some inject a little extra step, A tiny pause here or there. I stand accused of trying to lead When I should have followed. My pointy boots, often in the way, Did nothing to protect my feet. And if you must know, This last try crushed My instep and toes. I’ve just started to walk again. So dancing, my friend?
I believe my dancing days are at an end. So, do not ask me to try again When I stumble and fall Just walking and talking. Dancing, a longed-for energy, I no longer possess.
I may want, I may dream. But I cannot chance The crushing of another’s feet In my bumbling, stumbling attempts– To dance once again The passionate closed embrace Caricias and lustrada footwork Of Argentina, Or the sweeping flow Of canter time pivot turns And fleckerls and contra check in the grace of Vienna. So, no tango, no waltz. And this old dog Has proven she is just too old To learn any new tricks Of dancing. Let this old dog sleep And dream And remember What once it was like To dance With such Passionate, graceful Abandon.
Wind and rain Of this horrid spring Whips us to perfection Of brokenness being Beaten souls That we are In this time of need And want of touch. Our loneness sheltered Bodies, our silence shattered souls, Contoured colors of minds Restrained our madness In this once upon a time. If only to wake in the warmth Of human skin upon skin Once again in some perfumed swirl Contained in believing a speck of faith Preserved as a fly in amber. That fly who found rest In warm liquid ooze But was never to escape. Yes, grateful to escape to This fitful rest though, yes, It is, indeed, blessed. My mind scatters, Struggles to find a train of thought To ride in peace from one station To the next, make a trip to the elegance Of a dining car, white glove service And all else– in contrast— To this vast emptiness— With which to wrestle like Jacob, But my soul has long been crippled. All the trains left the station, Ran circles around my heart, Chugging on into the tunnels To find there isn’t much In expectation on the other side Of those darkened tunnels. No light, no light, Just a cold grey Of a horrid spring.
How to fix this leaky valve?
First, a mild little
But it’s worn just a bit more
To a moderate
Drip, drip, drip
And on so it goes to bleed out
A smidgen here and there,
Muttering and stuttering
About things it could once contain.
Nothing a spritz of WD can’t fix.
Maybe some plumber’s tape round the edge
To help the seal when it should close.
Maybe some solder to narrow the band?
Or use the iron to apply that stitching stuff
To hold a hem or two?
Just rip it from my chest.
Throw it to the flames.
Watch it shrivel, turning black
And then to ash.
Who knows? I may be rewarded
With a bird of feathered flame,
Clutching in its talons a burning heart
To place inside my chest.
Or, if not, I could use the ash
To mark my empty breast
With an X.
Time broke, And you were there, Black and white upon a screen, Seeming to tumble In time to the thump, thump From a machine.
Time split in half, And you were there, Barely a teen, Trying on a mountain of jeweled dresses Frowning and sighing. Finally smiling After reluctantly putting on a dress I asked, “Just try it, please?”
Time shattered, And there you were, Clattering down the hall, Your tiny toddler feet In my size nine heels.
Time wrecked, And there you were, An adolescent sleeping, Lips parted, A fist clutching a beloved stuffed bunny, So grown, yet so tiny still.
Time crumbled, And you were there In your toddler car seat, Sobbing, fat toddler tears For we had no food To give the homeless man on the corner. So, we drove through McDonald’s and bought a meal for him. Your tears stopped. You smiled as I handed him the meal. But the incongruity of your toddler voice admonished, “Next Sunday, after church, we need to buy a healthy meal And bring it to him. McDonald’s isn’t healthy to eat all the time.”
Time exploded, And there you were, Sitting in a swing, hands reaching for the sky; Crying in my arms, heart breaking for the first time; Laughing on Saturday morning, maple syrup running down your chin; Praying the Lord’s prayer in church, brow furrowed in toddler earnestness.
Time coalesced, Healing its broken, Shattered, Split, Wrecked, Crumbled, Exploded Self.
Time mended, Leaving us broken In its wake To find ourselves— Mother, aged And daughter, grown To know each other Again.
If only these colored leaves Of red and gold and orange Could be caught, Snatched gently By careful hands To be savored, arranged Somehow preserved, Rather than fall, lifeless Torn from their limbs By careless winds, Shoved to the ground With murderous violence To be trampled and ground to dust Or raked and bagged for trash Or better yet, If only these colored leaves Of gold and red and orange– Could stay filled with life And be always green.
Aesthetics of skin, nails, knuckles, bone Does not exist in The beauty of hands Lending help when needed is seen. Pulling a bloody tourniquet tight in the midst of battle, Swinging a hammer to build a house, Raking earth to plant a garden, Painting a work of art, Cradling a child to sleep, Caressing a lover’s skin. A lifetime of doing is the beauty of hands.
To participate in the Ragtag Daily Prompt, create a Pingback to your post, or copy and paste the link to your post into the comments. And while you’re there, why not check out some of the other posts too!