Tribal Dance

Tribal Dance

Tribal Dance
Photo by Min An on

I envy them,

their branches swaying, rocking, swirling, bouncing,

Entranced by the music in the breeze,

flexing and bowing against the rushing, whooshing rhythms

from ancient times, from around the earth

Winds as old as life,

as constant as music in memory.


Skirts of brown and green and gray

lifting, flying, swirling, lying.

And again. And again.

Sometimes with exuberance,

sometimes just a flutter.


They move as one. One Tribe.

The leader: strong and statuesque, never bends

She reaches and extends

creating artful, elegant shapes

over and around and within.

The chorus: in concert with each other,

shimmies here, then there,

with this breeze, and this one, and this one.

And the other: the one always catching

the breeze a little late, or perhaps early,

as if moving to her own music in her own breeze,

this way against that, that way against this,

up against down, down against up. She catches the eye,

always, to both criticism and praise.


I envy them their tribal dance

My own skirts lying flat and sad, twisted and

solitary in the stale stillness of a basket in a closet

Brilliant colors dulled by darkness and cruel

yellow slivers of light,

as I plod about without them,

rhythm-less, in silence.

The dance, the rushing whoosh of ancient

sounds, the breezes that cooled my skin throughout

wild but precise spins,

the turning, the flying, the whirling, the landing,

the bowing . . .


The waiting.


Now just pestilence, sad remembrance, hopeful



I envy them their dance and

I cannot look away.


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