Why don’t you dance?

Why don’t you dance?

Because I am scared
What if I am not good enough?
What if the teacher scolds me?
His white beard and angry face scare me
My legs hurt
And I want to stay home and play with my dolls.

Dance, still. You will thank me one day.

Why don’t you dance?

Because my feet are hurting from all the dancing
I can’t touch them to the floor when I wake up in the morning
The pain displaces the joy

Dance, still. Otherwise you will regret giving it up some day.

Why don’t you dance?

Because they need me
Who will watch over them when I retreat into my emotions
Who will be there for them when I pour my soul out to an audience that doesn’t include them?
Because when all eyes are on me, they will wilt in my shadow

Dance, still. Because you have a few more years in you.

Why don’t you dance?

Because it’s too hard
Because now the pain is not in my feet, but in my heart
When I take one step forward and get pulled back two
Too many missed chances
Too many cancelled performances

Dance, still.

Why don’t you dance?

Because I am tired of fighting.
Just let me be.
I’m the almost-was.
And I always will be.

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One thought on “Why don’t you dance?

  1. This is absolutely beautiful! It has moved me to tears. There’s nothing sadder than regret and what-ifs and life passing by. And it’s fine if one can accept themselves as an “almost was”, but for those with time and freedom and ability, your poem is a reminder that it’s never too late to still “try to be”. As long as you’re breathing, there’s still time……… to dance.

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