Kilmeny MacMichael writes across multiple genres and formats from a small town in western Canada's Okanagan Valley. She is proud to have her stories appear with Short Édition. You can find links ... [+]

Image of Short Circuit - Short Circuit #09
At first, it seemed a movement of
spontaneous joy;
a pause,
a stretch of arms and hands,
a bending,
quick steps along the hardwood floor
and a glide

A purposeful turn, pause
and then back
step and slide,
turn, pause, again;
slide step
faster steps, longer, more assured,
slide steps, again

Gaining speed and strength,
quick steps, glides,
socks and polish
gathering glad

In quiet, in merciful twilight,
concentration in feet,
a flash of teeth, a smile?

The one who watches wonders,
"Is there music I cannot hear?"

Quick steps and long glides,
tilting turns;
small, precious exuberances
back, forth, again, again


A dancer who does not know
the one who watches is there,
thinking, at last, even just
for this moment, they are blithe

Yet, while they watch,
exaggerated, playful grace becomes
something faster, harder;
anger grows in stretching fingers,
each run inclines more ferocious,
each glide demands more
and each
stops short of desire

The dancer throws against
the friction of the feet,
the resistance of the floor,
each run and slide
wordless unmet plea

Over and over
the watcher's dread does not know
what to do
stay silent, go, offer comfort or no

at first it seemed a movement of joy
at first it was

Now the fathomless desperation wells
in their love
the dancer's rising tears clear
in the way they twist
against the dark

A pause
a stretch of arms and hands
a bending then
quick steps along the hardwood floor.

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