I wonder how many dancers have become dancers just out of defiance? There are easily millions of dancers who have stopped dancing and millions that will dance into their grave at the end of a lifetime. I wonder if determination born of defiance could also be counted in the millions? At least as it refers to dancing.
I had to write a poem about an event that occurred in a room in the house where I grew up for a creative writing class. The professor pointed out that the dancing I loved came almost more out of defiance than anything else. I think I really just like being music, but his thoughtful comment caused me to consider that perhaps I’m stronger than I ever considered. Which is GOOD and I’m just gonna go with that.
The Straight and Narrow
Oblivious to the clicking of steel on linoleum I twirl thru the tiny brown kitchen
Hypnotized by Judy Garland asking,
“If birds fly over the rainbow, why, oh why, can’t I?”
My brother points and laughs from his steady perch atop a stool
At the miniscule kitchen table.
The braces strapped on my legs to straighten out a crooked, broken nature,
did more than restore the trauma of a birth canal.
The cold, perfectly straight, unforgiving iron bars
that could cement bone to bone
and free sinew so muscles could move,
also cemented iron to a will
and released the music inside, despite small spaces and small minds
and rough beginnings.
The need to silently twirl and leap happily over linoleum freely oblivious
to a brothers laughter and metal designed to constrain
would ultimately bring more defiance and elegance
than if I had been born in the perfect image of the dancer that stood within the bars.
But, even after a forever of straight-legged pirouettes and fearless leaps,
being broken to begin with is still the person that returns my glare in an endless sea of mirrors.
Still, after a lifetime of silent dancing, the bars are something to be stepped past.
Another reason to dance: defying imperfection.