At The Diamond School of Dance
by Jon Loomis
It’s me and the mothers, out in the foyer.
Linoleum floors, knotty-pine, late ’50s rumpus room—
long row of trophies, blue ribbons on a shelf.
I’m here with my daughter, who’s four.
Who, because no one gives princess lessons,
has opted for dancing. She likes the tutus, the tap shoes,
the tights. The teachers are kind.
They’re graceful as egrets, strong in the thighs.
We chitchat, the mothers and I. We futz with our phones.
We’re large, rooted like silos.
Chopin leaks from the studio: a nocturne, full of rain.
The little girls dance—plié, sashay, arabesque—
earnest as death, as if nothing
was ever so hard, or mattered so much. Mothers!
Let us rush in and embrace them! Let us snatch them
up to our great bosoms, and never tell them the truth.