Pennsylvania School of Ballet Closes Due to Snow +  About Girls Standing on Steps

Marie Gray Wise

Pennsylvania School of Ballet Closes Due to Snow

No! Let them stand En Pointe
at 12th and Race
in snowflake tutus
and pink satin toe shoes
decorating Philadelphia 
with Swan Lake en masse

Let them cross into New Jersey
over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge
in grand-jetés of elegance
that imitate that great expanse

Let them pirouette the highways
to back roads and barren tomato fields
plant arabesques on strong stems
fluttering arms of bud-like gems

Please place three on my front lawn
to balancé around the house
crunching lively toe-points
into the white quiet ground

Let them sparkle dreary winter
and cheer us into March
with hope and beauty
and poise

About Girls Standing on Steps

This morning in semi-sleep
a T. S. Eliot poem
sprang from my subconscious

In that half-dreamy state
the fore-brain recited automatically
word by word, then line by line

I checked the web
and found I’d remembered
most of the first two stanzas
and vowed to never forget them again

because the girl on the stairs weeping
with flowers in her arms
is a gem of feeling
as well as artistry
no matter what Tommy Stearns said

I memorized it in my hopeful scholar days
not realizing I’m not scholar-material
being too impetuous and random
in temperament
too wide-spread and eclectic
in interests
plus not valuing
the prize of poetry enough
and not being capable of the steadiness
necessary for mastery

All day I rolled the poem and that yearning
in my head and even when it wasn’t
noon or midnight
those glorious words
sang of that other life I never lived
while reminding me
how their beauty
does not have to be absent
from the one I live now

Marie Gray Wise’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Tipton Poetry Review, English Journal, U. S. 1 Worksheets, The Café Review, Naugatuck River Review, Grey Sparrow, and The Paterson Literary Review. Retired from teaching, she lives in Mount Laurel, New Jersey where, besides creating poetry and substitute teaching, she is writing a novel. 

Comments are closed.