The One-Footed Dancer

Years ago, I was inspired by a dance I saw on “So You Think You Can Dance” concerning people with cancer to write this.

Last night, I revised it and decided to put it up here:

The One-Footed Dancer

This is a poem of no glories
It’s just one of those plain old stories

It doesn’t talk about lands ever green
Or fables and tales forever unseen

It’s about a guy, a lonely dancer
With only one foot, suffering cancer

Well, enough talk now, let’s get to beginning
– which, by the way, has lots of giggling.

The giggling was coming from a bunch of girls,
Clad as dancers, with gorgeous, blond curls.

They were looking and oh-not-so-hiding
At a one-footed guy, swirling and dancing.

Well, dancing I say, it was more jumping
into every wall, solidly bumping.

The guy had cancer, and so had gone bald,
His name was Louie; Lousy he was called.

He had big ears, big eyes to go with.
He was clumsy, in everything he did.

This day, however, was not like always,
It was his last dance, the last of his days.

The girls didn’t know, and just kept going
At laughing at him, mindless, unknowing.

The guy, for all that, was not hearing
All that ill-natured, girly giggling.

In fact, so you know, he just wasn’t there,
And for all the world, he just didn’t care.

So immersed he was in his lonely dream
Where he was dancing beside a stream.

He wasn’t ugly, or bald, or maimed, there.
In fact he was tall, and lean, and was fair.

His partner in dance was a beautiful girl
Her smile bright, she had eyes like pearl

She was as light as the water in the stream
With features as bright and soft as the dream

He looked at her and started to spin
And completed it, flashing a grin

He pirouetted, then did a jeté,
Landed soundlessly, and did a chassé

In his fantasies, no one could best him
The light of his fame would not ever dim

His lady loved him for his excellence
in all that he did, he was so intense.

He danced and she laughed, like a merry child
And for her laughter, he always smiled.

He was just about to join his lover
when his foot slipped and he fell over.

His head hurt a lot, “Lousy!” someone called,
He reached up, and lo! he was again bald!

He looked up, around, and to his horror,
Saw himself ugly, in the dance mirror.

His lover’s laughter was gone and instead
A mean, nasty laugh started to spread

He couldn’t take it, he started to cry
He wished he could just drop off and die

With that wish he lay there on the ground
And in his sadness, slowly drowned.

All of a sudden, everything was gone,
And he saw a light as bright as sun.

Lighter than feathers, softer than a bed
someone took his hand, and cradled his head

“Louie,” said a voice, gentle as the night,
And kissed his forehead, like a ray of light

Caressing his cheek, she looked down at him
And Louie saw her, the girl of his dream.

Dancers all about, saw Louie looking
At nothing at all, and then smiling

For they couldn’t see the fantasy girl
Holding on to him, emotions awhirl

All they saw was him, lying there alone
Ugly, one-footed, uttering a moan

He began to cough, and there was blood
Staining his shirt, an ugly, red bud

They all ran to him, to – perhaps – help him
And they saw his eyes, big, bulgy, and dim

Somebody knelt down and looked at his chest
No rise and no fall, just an empty nest

There was no breath, his heart had stopped
Smiling upward, he had just dropped

Ambulances came to revive the guy
But his soul had gone for the far fly

It was the last time anybody saw
Louie the Lousy, so full of flaw

Ugly, one-footed, suffering cancer,
Daring to claim to be a dancer.

Saturday, August 28, 2010
1:48 AM

Tuesday, July 31, 2013
00:35 AM