Caroline Danced

by John Wilks
The Write Idea
Second Place, March 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry

At last, her muscles lose their memory,
she forgets the cakewalk and the swivel,
the sequined flapper dress, the blistered toes,
the bruises that adorn her legs, the sprains,
the sweat stains, the Russian’s hands that hold her,
then set her free to flourish, in the tat
and glitter of teatime TV, the four
perfect 10s, the trophy that reflects tears
shed too soon…
……………… pictures of a bloodstained room,
where love is an island on which she lies
marooned, the music ends, the credits roll,
before the final dance can be rehearsed,
her last steps criticised as a stumble,
her line, her frame, her moves, cannot be judged.

A grimly powerful exploration of the demise of a dancer. --R.T. Castleberry