6 December 2017

Dancing girl

My mother has taken to dancing

I mean she still stands straight
as a pole at evening parties
and full of poise at nightclubs

But recently in daily life
she has been wild

In the morning when I tell her
she looks like a vision
she does a little jig to celebrate

She must jump when she wears
a jumpsuit, of course

I read the words of another poet
(dance is a body’s refusal
to die) and think of her
over & over

She wants to see all the world
she pirouettes in bathroom chappals

When we drove through Scotland
she stopped the car where she liked
she couldn’t get enough of the sky
at Skye, it was too blue, too much
to hold in her body
She whirled like a dervish on the highway

And then at the Great Wall of China, she
couldn’t help herself, her joy spilled out
all over the countryside
She held out her arms till they
reached sun and giggled till she was red

Danced like the first girl at Mohenjodaro
toppled over onto ancient cobblestones

Reached home with two bruises
like continents on her knee
She is unfazed.

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