“Full Circle”

by Steven Trenam
Eliana Trenam as The Firebird, Portland Ballet Company, Portland, Maine. Photo by Madison Ouellette.

Hanging on a note
en pointe, just so,
while the Universe hums
O watch her body sway!
My sedentary bones bask in her glow.

Eliana is two and a half.
We hear a screech
and run into the room
where Swan Lake is on PBS.

Are you OK?
She points to the screen
and exclaims, “That!”
“We can take you to the ballet.”

She says, “No! That!”
“You mean you want
to do that, to be that.”
“Yes! Yes!”

Twenty-seven years later
she is Stravinsky’s bird on fire.

From her perch offstage
she bursts through the air,
landing in a flurry of red,
her arms unfurling into supple,
slowly strumming wings.

Stravinsky’s lifeblood flows
through her movement—
notes and dancer so in sync
she becomes the instrument—
sound itself.

Assessing her domain,
the Firebird burns slowly.
With her leg extended
she taps the ground around her,
probing her surroundings.

This is where she belongs.
The Firebird controls her realm,
the Dancer dominates the stage—
she is a bird through and through,
a flaming blur across
the toe-bruised floor.

At home with the music,
with her movement,
with the audience,
joyful beyond a young girl’s dreams.

Waiting outside the stage door,
a young girl, about four, in red leotard and tutu
pirouettes in the hall,
holding a single rose,
and as she turns, sings
“The Bird
The Bird
The Bird.”

Click below to read more poetry

Leap of Faith
Steve Trenam’s bio
An Affront to Gravity

© copyright 2020, Steve Trenam. All rights reserved. No reproduction without prior permission.