By Gianna Raimo
A Dancer’s Decorum
As if gliding through water, time suddenly halts,
Slowly moving in tempo and pace.
The world spins when they’re twirling
Blissfully whirling in dozens of patterns and shapes.
They are floating in air, soaring through sky,
Sprouting wings when suspended in flight.
Their feet brush the floor, with intent and allure
Pirouettes can illuminate night
They contort and confuse
But easily bruise, from the hours of practice and pain
The mind takes a toll, when perfection’s your goal
Infected by a psychological game.
But their passion inspires their blatant desires
Of story-telling and soul, sometimes tragic
For the dance that we see, in a stage jubilee,
Is the closest thing we have to magic.
I want to go back to the train tracks.
When the trains horn blared, but our adrenaline was far louder,
When our thirst for adventure outweighed any judgment,
When we tapped our toes and gamboled on the rails
Until the train’s approaching image forced us into the surrounding wood.
We giggled as we cut through backyards and followed streams.
We hopped fences and rummaged through abandoned golf carts.
In hopes of finding some magic portal or secret cave,
A place only known by folklore and suspicion.
We found a place
Lying under the canopy of trees,
Soaking up every last drop of dew the grass had to offer us.
We found that place
With our eyes firmly shut,
And our ears open to the sounds of cracking branches and falling leaves.
We found our place
When our worries evaporated into the autumnal air
And the concerns that once plagued our minds
We wanted the “what ifs” and “remember whens”.
We flaunted “oh, you should have been theres” to all of our friends.
We craved an adventure
To whisk us away from any teenage responsibility
Because a sense of risk,
A hint of chance,
Is what lacked in our sheltered lives.
And I still miss the mud on my shoes,
The tiny cuts and yellowed bruises that peppered my legs,
I miss the biting air,
The tiny gnats that we swatted away.
I miss it.
I miss my best friend.
Four walls painted white.
Fluorescent light hits the walls,
The room glows far too bright.
So my eyes strain to see
And my vision goes sour.
Left to shrink in the corner,
I’m alone, forced to cower.
The touch of a rose
Against my bare feet
Lures me down to the ground
Invites me to take a seat.
Soft lilacs, sweet violets,
Purples in every shade,
Peonies in full bloom
All come to my aid.
But disruption erupts,
A carriage comes into view,
Horses trot on these flowers,
Everything’s left askew.
And the carriage door opens,
There she sits regally,
A dress of purple satin,
Arms folded neatly
And her hands are so fragile,
Her skin is so fair,
Her wrinkles have faded,
Curls grace her brown hair.
She emerges quite slowly,
In her hands she takes mine,
She looks tenderly at me
As fingers intertwine.
I say, “Grandma, what’s wrong?”
As I plead her to speak.
Though in voice she is silent,
She does not appear weak
And her eyes smile sweetly
But in mine tears are falling,
“Please, Grandma say something”,
Her name, I keep calling.
The palm of her hand
Dries away my last tear,
She tucks a strand of dark hair
Behind my right ear.
Then she gives one last smile
And I’m left in awe.
My body is paralyzed,
Tired and raw
And she returns to her carriage,
Riding into the light,
Sudden in her arrival
And equal in flight.
Gianna Raimo is 16 years old with an interest in English literature and psychology. She has taken an interest in writing and poetry since she was almost nine years old and Gianna has won the Chappaqua Young Writer’s Contest with her piece, “Game on, Curtain Up” and runner-up with her poem, “Nonna’s Prayer.” Gianna is also a competitive dancer, which often inspires her writing. These pieces on YARN are her first published works.