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After the Ball
Lynne Santy Tanner


At twenty-two degrees, the leaves simply let go.
Cast by December’s canted sun,
their shadows blur across my bedroom wall.

A single one floats left to right, then a maelstrom.

I want to stay wrapped in blankets watching them,
but, obedient even at seventy-five,

I dress and go to an early morning Nutcracker rehearsal
though my part, an aging granny, needs no practice.

To my delight as I arrive, outside the theater
ginkgoes are standing in puddles of yellow,
their leaves brought down by this first frost--

Five young trees, like girls after a ball,
stretch bare arms to greet the morning,
and step out of their crinolines.

From Ten Thousand Spiderwebs Bright with Dew (Kelsay Books, 2023).
Used here with permission.


Lynne Santy Tanner was born in New York City but has lived for many years in North Carolina. A professional dancer and choreographer (she was choreographer for the Rutherford County, NC Arts Council for 50 years), she also writes and paints. Lynne’s poems have appeared in numerous publications and she is the author of four collections; the most recent is Ten Thousand Spiderwebs Bright with Dew.



Post New Comment:
Alarie Tennille:
Your fan section is giving a big ovation. I, too, especially love the final stanza, and I always enjoy watching the autumn leaves.
Posted 12/04/2023 03:28 AM
Very nice! That last stanza nails it!
Posted 12/03/2023 09:44 PM
The perfect analogy! So pretty!!!
Posted 12/03/2023 05:29 PM
Gorgeous words and images! Thank you, Lynne!
Posted 12/03/2023 04:14 PM
So vivid and beautiful, Lynne!
Posted 12/03/2023 01:31 PM
I love your last stanza, Lynne, it could stand alone. I'm glad it doesn't.
Posted 12/03/2023 12:49 PM
So lovely this dance into your morning.
Posted 12/03/2023 11:39 AM
Angela Hoffman:
What a lovely poem!
Posted 12/03/2023 08:16 AM
Larry Schug:
Can't tell you how much I like this poem--each line so lovely and meaningful.
Posted 12/03/2023 08:10 AM
Gilbert Allen:
A fine poem for a December morning.
Posted 12/03/2023 07:54 AM

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