Why this Dancing?
After Tracy K. SmithDo your feet do anything other than walk? Do you paint your toes red to keep them happy? Do you know what a drum can do? Does a 6/8 rhythm lead your hips to sway? Does clave make your heels bounce? What taps on your heart? Have you ever been carried by a melody? Do you know the meaning of joy? Turns It’s bedeviling, how an image turns into an onion. The onion slides into the Bay The Bay into the Golden Gate. The Gate into a searchlight Shining from “the Rock,” Not Duane, but Alcatraz Turns into a barge, That floats beside the partially dismantled bridge, Which becomes salt water, being paddled to the rhythm of crickets singing Harbingers These survivors aren’t interested In what we think of them. Screaming from the highest branches, Black feathers glinting in afternoon light, Instigating standoffs with squirrels in parking lots for peanut trophies. Perching on rooftops, telephone poles Announcing their presence loudly. “We know, we know” “What you don’t, you don’t” “We know, we know” “What you don’t, you don’t” We see screeching nuisances reminding us we’re squatters. We cover our ears, Wonder when they'll leave. “We’re warning you, be still, Slow down.” “We’re warning you, be still, Slow down.” We look for maps of places We can’t return to “No time to not listen, No time to ignore.” “No time to not listen, No time to ignore.” We say, “there is not enough” Black wings sing: “Be still.”