by ArLynn Parker
An Abecedarian Poem
Audience hushed, attentive. Not a pen drops
because everyone is waiting. Anticipation.
Curtain pulls back and we’re on. Music starts and we’re waiting for the
down beat, the beat of rhythm itself.
Exiting the safety of the wings, entering a new world, and miles to go before the
finale. Lights catch our faces. Every chasse’, every
gran battement. Keep straight on the arabesque.
Hidden is our anxiety. We’re perfect for this crowd.
Injuries, quarrels, jealousies, politics. Replaced
just for them with painted smiles of grace and beauty.
Keep the arms bent at the proper angle,
leaping as if pulled by a string.
Morning, noon, and night we did this in our heads, but they’ll
never know of the dedication. They only know our poise.
Our pas de bourre’s and tou jete’s.
Purpose. Their presence promotes our purpose.
Quietly we love. Every crescendo, every point we love.
Releve’. Foudu. Remember the love, why we do what we do, and
spot each other. We’re a
team. A flying force, answering the stage’s beckon.
Under the glowing lamps, we do this for passion. Don’t
vary from formation. It’s almost finished. The music quiets.
We slow our movement, becoming planted
xenias of different colors with red lips and pointed shoes.
Yet when everything is done, and we’re taking a final bow, our mouths stay
zipped, as our dance spoke for us.
ArLynn Parker is 21 years old and currently studying creative writing and theatre at Old Dominion University. She attended ballet and dance classes for roughly nine years with many recitals and performances, which served as the inspiration for this poem in the abecedarian form. She enjoys the arts and plans to continue exploring them through writing.