The Feet-on-Feet Dance

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'Their little shoes shone just like mine The princesses were mini versions Though not of myself'

Silver Crown

 

The platform seat seems colder today

I sit and remember the feet-on-feet dance 

 

A wedding feast of pink lighting, silver place cards and affectionate speeches

But it was the bridesmaids

Little princesses in tulle gowns and tiaras, who held on tight to their parents’ hands and wrists

'Royal' families in celebration who spun like Catherine wheels

Sweat beads on one king’s upper lip

A rise of prosecco in one queen’s throat

 

At a nearby reception table, I remember hoping that I was a queen in my own way

 

I watched them twirl and laugh

and it was sweet

and I clapped

and it gave me faith in humanity 

 

But I felt the stretched smile of another queen right behind me

A queen just like me

My shadow, my mirror

'Like two drops of water' as the French would say, dripping onto the floor and soaking my satin court shoes 

 

'Have you got a prince or princess?' one dancer asked

I said 'no' and offered the man one smile

One smile for them to cope with the answer

One smile for me to cope 

 

I can't use the words 'not yet' or 'maybe one day'

I'm not a liar 

I was no queen then, and perhaps not even now as I wait on this cold seat

Not even in my own way

 

The tulle dresses were so pretty

Their little shoes shone just like mine

The princesses were mini versions

 

Though not of myself

 

My train has arrived, I'll let it pass 

The crowd gets up for what they have been waiting for

The final destination is within reach

That’s what most of us think

But I know my tunnels are crashing

And raining into rubble on the tracks

 

It was never my train

I'll stay put and cling to my cold seat

And pray for the courage and solid composure and generosity of spirit

To dance with them next time  

 

 

- Letitia Prescott

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