You have to find the thing
that’s so hard you almost
can’t do it, but you love it,
and do it anyway. You will
never be a ballerina, but
that doesn’t matter. What
matters is that ballet class
occupies you body, heart,
and soul. Attention solely
on the next plie, a pattern
of the palm, placement of
fingers flowing as if just
removed from a sleeve.
The way your mind may
not wander from straight
spine, tucked tummy or
something will spoil the
silhouette. And the feet.
Oh, the feet. That letter
“C” of the arch, the point
of every toe, the forcing
forward of a heel trained
to follow, asked to lead.
All the while, a smile from
a head afloat above a
body that works without
seeming to work. Focus.
Find this line, that shape,
another pirouette. And
dance. Did you see how
that happened? How
whatever worry you wore
before disappeared? The
way your muscles tightened
around its neck, squeezed
the breath out of it, how
with a port de corps your
arms wafted it away. And
then you leapt. Freeing
even from gravity. So slip
sore, worn feet into easy
pink leather. Work. Crises
come and crises go. Ballet,
though, erases everything
even itself, your body giving
then taking away, moving
through music to another
shade of being. Peace both
momentary and everlasting.

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