En pointe. Center stage front.
Her tutu is a plumed crysanthymum,
delicately balanced on dual stems.
She traces the air with pale fingertips,
as if to memorize it as woman--
not the swan she soon will become.
We flocked to see Nureyev that night,
expected to grow damp with rapture
from his fierce Neapolonic leaps,
head tilted cockily in the fury
of his futile heroic dance.
We only saw her...
This flower. This reluctant swan.
Degas white, pinned
under a dimming spotlight.
Fluttering and rising.
Dipping and lifting.
Then, abruptly, the vacant stage.