1 Minute read

Beginning Ballet over Forty

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1 Minute Read

I think yes, I have it. The pas de valse is slow

but winning. And then she wants a pirouette

in the mix and, in the room, I’m the tornado,

dizzy and feeling like I’ve been caught


stumbling in my underwear, a dipsomaniac

on the sprung-wood floor. I know she won’t

believe me when I say it was fine at home—


there, I have about as much room to practise

as a mouse in a milk jug; quality

must count for something. It’s like following

the cracks in the pavement and not


stepping on them for fear of breaking

your mother’s back. Only the cracks are never

a pace wide anymore, and it’s my back now.

About Barbara Marsh

Barbara Marsh is a poet, musician and teacher and winner of the 2015 Troubadour International Poetry Prize. Her collection, To the Boneyard, is
published by Eyewear (2013). As a singer/songwriter, she worked primarily in NYC and London, co-forming Anglo-American duo The Dear Janes. Formerly with Geffen Records, they released three albums and toured Europe and the US. She is the author of the first book-length monograph on poet Ruth Stone. The ballet part is true.

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