Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Seated Dancer

(For an image, click here.)

Seated Dancer

(From: "Seated Dancer" charcoal & pastel on paper by Edgar Degas, late 1870's.)

Something about her hand
highlights her defiance.
This woman sits with pale orange arms,
smiles cool while green shadowed
ghosts of confusion
skirt disproportional eyes
painted seductively dark.

Her fault, the performance.
Though she uses her body proudly
her reactions are over-rehearsed.
A quivering voice forces
nervous naysayers to leave
her arena not knowing
her finish met great applause.

Her box of jewels enthralls her
improperly conceals sweltering ice
and her sunglasses make light
much harder to see.
She'd had jewels, had rights,
knew where to stop at a just agreement
but surprise, her gambling,
compulsive as granite clinging
to ground, systematically
sought the unfamiliar.

Leads on wealth added costs
to fame, warmed her desire
for dollars and dimes.
Once the city thought her cold
ignored her foggy looks, the miles riding
and days in boats when the time was right.

What words in print describe
jukebox joints, an annual stop
in her only routine?
With taxes to pay, brandy, a cold river,
bring welcome relief.
Angels on pins
greet her with true
quotes, explain
that however wronged she feels
she still reached the wrong finale.

Note: This poem was written about 10 years ago.

1 comment:

  1. Her posture is very queenly. I like to think of her paying taxes and drinking brandy when she's not sitting there.


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