My poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here.
I’m no dancer but I love to dance anyway. So many memories of dancing. A ballet studio on the second floor of a frame house: First position. Second position. Plie. Arabesque. Releve. The Alibi: a bar in Vermont, my best friend and I waiting in the entryway every weekend until the cover dropped to half price. The tiny dance floor where every song, in my memory, is by the Police.
A swing dance party in Maine: me a newbie unable to follow the tight rhythms until a dark-eyed man curled my fingers around the tips of his: Resist me. Follow me, and at the same time resist me. A friend’s wedding: rainy night under a big tent. Boards laid across mud. The band strikes up and a laughing man holds out his hand: Come on, Alison, let’s go. Mud-soaked red shoes: one heel broken by the end of the night.
It’s been a while since things didn’t feel so messed up, politics and the planet melting down and movements bad and good rising up simultaneously, a future in which so much feels so uncertain. Been a while since I danced things out late at night in the living room, or thought of this poem.
To Be Alive, by Gregory Orr
To be alive: not just the carcass
but the spark.
That’s crudely put, but. . .
If we’re not supposed to dance,
why all this music?