Thought You Could Dance
The slow dance demands a most deliberate grace,
a patient skill for stepping that I never master,
so eager for the final footfalls that trigger the applause.
I cannot contain my motion and stumble all too soon,
falling outside your measured rhythms for ritual
and finished before you even find the beat.
Then I kick myself for clumsiness and bad balance,
faulting my feet for the lack of talent or practice.
But in the lifting of my unsupple self from the floor,
I spy you, still at the bar, stuck in your warm up.
I thought you could dance, like a seasoned performer
but discover what I mistook for thoughtful discipline
was only the fear of a fraud who knows he is found,
the not so nimble sidesteps of a poseur playing the pro.
I would rather tend the bruises that come each time I tumble,
than be afraid to ever set my feet upon the stage.
About the Poem
This poem is dedicated to Mike, whom I took to be more sincere that he turned out to be. And for a time, I actually blamed myself.
This poem was finished March 20, 2003. It is previously unpublished in print.