Struck by her elongation

I was glad of not learning to drive

avoiding speeding by the dead of the road

carrying their burdens

I was glad of not seeing clearly

when I hid my glasses and peered blearily

at a world that forsook kindness

I sat in my folding chair with velvet back

that if you stood up too quickly would snap

into place like a well taught puppet

folds into the wall and closes her face

to the scurry of humanity sweating down-wind

we all radiated for the dancer

struck by her elongation

making paper figures of her thin fingers in articulated bow

her long neck stretched from years of looking upward

years I had been staring at my feet learning to grovel

she had the beatific smile of a winter princess

stuck on her unfurling like the sun makes majesty of dawn

whilst I hid myself in plain sight beneath the irrasible itch

watching her move was like dancing inside places I kept shut

she was my muse and I,

nothing but a person watching in the dark of theatre

to be replaced by the next spectator

wishing she had the courage to be

something more than aching

to dance on stage, unfolding to heaven

with the grace of courage smiling in the wings

she wasn’t scared to live

to feel

to be