A Weekly Poetry Email Series
Ballet Dancers
Felicity Sidnell Reid

They say they just love to dance.
It’s all a partnership of music
and motion.
Without a story
they can be themselves
but the story grows—sometimes
from a formal greeting, a bow
or curtsey, fluid as reeds waving.
A fixed smile changes— becomes
coy, then seductive while his leaps
and bounds encircle her.
We watch to see if she welcomes
this embrace or if it’s an old tale
of Red Riding Hood and the wily
Are these real bodies? Or a special
construction of limbs and torso
that sends a dart on a horizontal
flight as the ballerina flies to
her partner’s heart.
And what propels that rocket
jump when he’s released
like a satellite into a higher
plane as though gravity
has let him go? Magic?

Perspiration bubbles on his brow.
Skin glistens and driblets fall
from out-flung arms.
Drawn nearer to the spellbound
dancers pirouetting in
the vortex of their pas de deux
we can’t miss the stream of sweat
that runs between her breasts.
When the music stops, the couple
lead each other forward
bow to the audience. Their faces
empty out, become expressionless.
Passion slips away like water
in a emptying lock.
Masks in place, they wait for new
music to fill them with emotion,
pull them into a fresh story.

About the Poet: Felicity Sidnell Reid

Felicity Sidnell Reid’s poetry, short stories and reviews have been published in anthologies, on line journals and collections. Her novel, Alone: A Winter in the Woods (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) was released as an e-book in 2020. She is co-host/producer of the long running radio series on 89.7 FM, Word on the Hills ( which interviews regional authors and invites guests to read from their work. Felicity recently published a chap-book of her poems entitled The Yellow Magnolia.

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