Winter Waltz

Freezing as you fall
mid turn,
relevé en pointe
port de bras.*
Melting in the heat of my cheek
their voices whisper
“Dance for us!”
But I do not have
satin slippered soles
to criss cross
and move in formation,
I walk on the
thick rubber of a black boot
that sinks and compresses
your many forms.
Not waltzing
but stomping
this Winter dance.
My skin contracts
as I hear your bones crack
underneath my feet.
Holding each other
you cover the Earth,
moving to the music of
the ice forming
and frost spreading.

*These are French words describing specific ballet movements. ‘Relevé en pointe’ refers to how the ballet dancer would raise themselves up onto the point of their toes with a small spring or softer motion; whilst ‘port de bras’ (meaning ‘carriage of the arms’) refers to how they would move their arms through each of the positions in a circular order.

With thanks to Lili Hicks for guiding me in the use of ballet terminology!

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