December 29, 2011

Hidden Dancer


For all the times when you want to know what's going on in someone's head, ask them to paint you a picture with words.  This is what you'd get from me.  I've said on more than one occasion that I feel like a performer at times.  Apparently, as a teenager, I felt more like a statue.  I guess you could call it progress that I can now walk and talk, right?

Lady mistress madam stands
under a soft focus diffused spot
people are murmuring at her feet
“this new life-model motif is sensational”
says one
his woman nods

oddly, she never blinks
her eyes seem, un-naturally, to focus on something
no one can see
on the inside

she’s been here, in this place,
the hallowed marble halls of historical
for years
the rod in her back keeps her from slouching
her wrists are chaffed
from the natural plated rope that binds them

some days, the light focused and warm above her
giver her sporadic hair
a kind of halo glow
other days, it only proves to show how matte and dull it is

the people, viewers, families and tours
are faceless
it could be the same crowd
the same children, the same wide-eyes tours
day after day
some man remarks about her small breasts
trying to seem art conscious
but coming out crude
he blushes and walks on

Her feet, living and pink
are attached to nothing
though she doesn’t return home after a long day at the office
the ropes around her “display”
keep her safe from spectators, them from her

“It’s amazing how she stands there”
says a tour guide,
throwing in his own tidbit of museum trivia
“First day on the job, I swore she’d move
I lost $20 to a pal o mine when she didn’t budge.”

Security knows she’s alive
when the lights go dim, the alarms switch on
and the people go back to their grind
they record her climbing down
from her mock pedestal
untying her wrists and looking around.
At first, that was all she did.
Entered the rooms surrounding hers, looking

There was once when she danced.
The too-long sleeves on her clothes fell to her elbows
as she raised her arms in time to the triumph in her head
her music, only hers, could she hear

snapshots
taken by people who have come to marvel
show her cheeks red some days
as if she’s about to cry
an even as strange and mysterious as the virgin Mary as well shedding tears
other photos show her eyes focused on the living world
she in stillness, changes
living art
caught in an instant of movement and stasis
she, like this, can not exist
but her pedestal bears her weight
and the inspection of passers by.

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