Song of the Young Girl

I dance because I want to,
I dance because I can.
I dance because my heart swells.
I dance because the birds sing,
I dance for the butterfly.
I dance because the flower fades,
I dance to be grandmother’s aid.
I dance for the cripple without his crutch,
I dance for the painted prostitute.
I dance because my feet are tied,
I dance because my brother cries,
I dance because I’m shy.
I dance because my words cannot,
I dance because I cannot fly.
I dance upon the thorns of life.
I dance for the sea I have never seen,
I dance for the song that has never been.
I dance because the world is round,
I dance for all the boats that drown.
I dance because I am not bold,
I dance for the women who are weary and old.
I dance because my mother can’t.
I dance that Shiva may be lured,
I dance that grandfather may be cured.
I dance for the brides whose breasts are burned,
I dance for the lesson never learned.
I dance because it is not right or wrong.
I dance to the wandering poet’s song:
‘Dancing is living, dancing is dying.’

My mother’s recited the poem.

(written ca. mid 2015)

For more about the poem, see notes.

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