Bone Dance

artwork by Naomi Backer (c) XN3ART all rights reserved, used with permission

artwork by Naomi Backer (c) XN3ART all rights reserved, used with permission

she is not a phenomenon
she is not a magazine story in black and white
with photos before and after 

she has just gone home
leaving our faces drawn and thin

it is a clear morning
and she has had a shock
‘a shock through my brain’ 

one day, she said, she ate
a muffin and drank a glass of water 

most days she won’t say
shopping always for smaller sizes
smaller now than at twelve years

spinning, today, to show us the swirl
a new skirt she is happy with 

for an instant she is lost in colour
but stops, white
dizzy, spinning still

she is dizzy more mornings than not

she has always been called dizzy, she says
but she has not always agreed so

she is 82 pounds and counting
down
moving in on her self, hard
as she can be: no excess
no other, no wrong, only 

the white of bone, the pure
choreography, elemental

her dance free of flesh

from In the Clear: A Contemporary Canadian Poetry Anthology, 1998

and Drawing Back to Take a Running Jump: Selected Poems, 2012 (buy the book on Amazon)

artwork by Naomi Backer (c) XN3ART all rights reserved, used with permission