I wrote this poem for a friend of mine who had written her own poem that I took inspiration from and created something new. I hope you like the first of my poetry posts.
The lights go up, it’s Christmas day,
Plenty of presents, family and laughter,
Warm living room and in the centre,
A wide-eyed smiling, Tiny Dancer.
Twirling giddily, hearty applause,
One step, two step; down on all fours.
Not so graceful on the rise,
No masking the innocent joy in naïve eyes.
Time goes by and our dancer grows,
Still nimble, elegant, fast on her toes.
Until one day she notices she is different,
In more ways than anyone really knows.
The world is large, and is at her feet,
“You can be anything that you want to be!”
Inside that expectation weighs heavy on her heart,
“There must be something wrong with me.”
Admiration follows her every step,
Attention for her beauty and a teasing smile,
Given compliments every day,
Kind words that thinly veil lecherous thoughts,
Make her feel good; at least for a while,
But this emptiness doesn’t go away.
The mirror isn’t quite so kind,
Dark eyes glare back, knowing the pain inside,
The anguish and desperation in her mind,
The days she wakes but wished she’d died.
Evenings are filled with past regrets,
The sleaze, the men, the acts she can’t forget.
Buries her head into her pillow and silently cries,
A mournful lament as the Tiny Dancer dies.
Mistakes that have developed into a pattern,
Woven tightly with each false promise given,
The seams are worn now, the edges fray,
There doesn’t seem to be a brighter day…
The lights go down, it’s Christmas Eve,
This year there are no presents under the tree,
She will be lucky just to pay her rent,
Dancing in front of lustful strangers; broken. Spent.
One step, two step; down on all fours,
Back up gracefully, unlike years before,
Cash thrown at her like a common whore,
Not sure where that line is anymore.
Did she know where it was to start with?
She contemplates and often wonders,
Before the chaos, heartbreak, mishaps and blunders.
Twirling seductively, shameless applause,
Jeering, coaxing, lewd shouts over demeaning comments,
Spilt beer, cheap cologne and hidden torments.
Home now, all is dark in early hours,
Washing awful smells away in lonely showers,
It seems the men are blind to her despite having seen all that they paid to see,
Because if they looked closely, they would really see,
“The terrified Tiny Dancer inside of me!”
If they had taken just a second to study her face,
Looked beyond the stockings and see-through lace,
A girl whose eyes betrayed her shame,
Remorse for all that she became.
“Why do you do this?” “Is it just the pay?”
“How do you look in the mirror every day?”
That reflection stares back now, no more words to say,
Cold inside, relentless pain that won’t go away.
Her quest for love was ventured in the wrong place,
The men she sought were never right,
Tears have dried up now leaving sorrow in their wake,
No more sobbing, no more wet pillowcase.
The Tiny Dancer once had poise and grace,
She was undone by self-loathing and smiles so fake,
Dancing alone in dark and forgotten dreams,
Masked by doubt; her haunted face,
Perhaps she will never make it out alive.
Dreams that slip away into a nightmarish sight,
The fires have died in eyes once so bright,
But perhaps she won’t venture out tomorrow night,
Come back Tiny Dancer…Please see the light.
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