The Ballerina

Bulky dance bag swung
over her tired shoulder,
she lugs it inside

The dance studio,
with it's spider-web windows,
and it's tall mirrors.

She tapes up her toes,
then slides on the satin shoes,
ribbons laced up tight.

Rising en pointe is
like a weight lifted off her
shoulders. She lets go.

The thin leotard
and pale pink tights are like a
weightless second skin.

She stands at the barre,
patiently waiting for the
music to begin.

When it does, she lets
it fill her, swirling around
and lifting her up.

It helps her tell a
story of pain and beauty.
Hard work rewarded.

Her body moves with
grace and poise. Every muscle
is on and alive.

Her focus is an
essential if she wants to
achieve perfection.

Energy shoots out
her delicate fingertips.
Precision is key.

She shifts all her weight,
from two legs to one and finds
balance from within.

Mustering up her
last bit of strength, she prepares
and takes off moving,

Across the long room,
flying up, up, and away.
Defy gravity.

Then she noiselessly
lands, like a silent shadow.
Her feet plant firmly.

Her head dips down as
she takes the final curtsy,
but she won't forget

That moment when she
was soaring above all the
things that hold her down.

-- Juliette Z., 13