for Ayesha Muhammed
When I see the dancers
begin to move, not one of them past
eleventh grade, and I see
the bearded youngster with his tape
of numbered sounds, I think how I am moved
by the supple spears that are
their bodies, how their teachers,
who love them, would save them with art,
how that overworked parachute
under which they are dancing
to drums much louder than they need to be,
will never be broad enough,
or strong enough, and how I
love them too, though I raise my hands
and only clap,
which is not enough either.
This poem first appeared in Two Seasons (Muse Pie, 1993).
Used here with the author’s permission.