Saturday 10 August 2013

Poetry 2013 Shortlist, Heema Shirvaikar

The Dancer

She strides with the elegance of a swan
Stretching her petite frame
In graceful twists and turns
Her fluid, rhythmic actions
Illuminated by the aura of her poise

Her music is those temple bells,
The hum of the flute that the poor beggar plays
The chirrup of the little bird perched on the window
The bells on her skirt
That swishes and swirls
As her slender feet draw an intricate pattern
On the ground beneath

The bright night lights adorn her
Her magnificent skirt alight with a thousand colours
Her lissom limbs move with grace beyond human
As she loses herself in the melody she weaves
Her body a tribute to the purest of passion

She collapses to the ground finally
Legs trembling, heart pounding, head throbbing
Tired but not beaten, bruised but not defeated.

Her head held high,
Content in her heart
She gently lifts the hem of her skirt
And cradles her crippled leg
Smiling, she beholds the immobile limb,
Adorned by a gold anklet

It stays there as a souvenir
A token of his love
The sweet tinkle of which
She dances everyday to hear

Sweet pain, a surge of ache
Flows through her as a reminder of love
Hope fills her, joy engulfs her
As it inspires her to pursue
A life of uninhibited passion
Because crippled she is by body
But unshackled is her spirit

They matter not who ridicule her
Or who look at her with contempt
Pity she does not recognize.
She is flawless. She is beautiful.

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