Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A National Poetry Month present...

The opening pages of my first YA verse novel, AUDITION.

When you are a dancer
You learn the beginning
Is first position.
Heels together,
Feet pointed as far to the sides
As your rotating hips will allow.

And when you are small
And at that beginning,
Your body is as flexible
As your mind.

There you stand,

They do not say to you then
That, when you are sixteen,
Doubt may cramp your muscled calves,
Arch your arrow back,
Leap into your mind.

They do not say to you
When you start in first position
That you may never be

Thin enough

Strong enough

Flexible enough

That you may never be


 On the third of July,
I stand with a hundred other girls,
From stick-thin to gently rounded,
From tiny, taut packages of muscle
To gawky, long-limbed sylphs,

All wearing pink tights,
Black leotards.
Sprayed slick
Against our scalps,
Up and away.
Not a single stray strand to distract
From the tilt of our heads
Or the length of our necks.

I notice a few girls dared
Garnish their chignons
With beads, flowers.

Would it help them grab the attention
Of Dame Veronique de la Chance?
Of choreographer Yevgeny Yelnikov?
Of one of the other important teachers
Who have come to scout talent
Here in Boston today?
Or even catch the spectacled eye
Of the secretary in heavy, blue skirt,
Thick shoes,
Taking notes on a battered clipboard
Where our names
Are connected
To the numbers we wear pinned
Onto front and back?

I was given number 78.

Should I have worn flowers in my hair?

c 2011 Stasia Ward Kehoe

Leave a comment below and your email via the "contact" tab above and I'll email you your very own free AUDITION SAMPLER pdf.

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