Dancing Day Two

A sad poem today, but watch this space (and Poetry Space‘s Facebook page!) for brighter days to follow. This is the second of five poems featuring a lifetime of dancing days.

Primary School Dancer

“Kiss chase!” “Do that for a dare! Go on—you’ve got to!”
“I’ll tell on you! Tell on you. On you. You.”
I can’t keep up with all the threats, the shouts, the playground promises,
The whispered secrets by the crate of milk-bottle empties,
The pushing, jostling, joking round the dinner ladies.

Shy, I stand quite still unknotting my sister’s skipping rope.
Ball-bearings rattle in the handles, wink & spark their silver mockery.
Conspiracy! I, the one dancer, brush the tears away & count:
Skipping, singing the rhymes, the nonsense words that break no bones
And do not hurt like sticks & stones.

© Lizzie Ballagher

skipping rope grayscale