all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Walking Into the Room of Myself


















I saw her dance and wanted to move just like her
but these are the feet I’ve got.

Don’t tell me I sway just as beautifully.
Don’t tell me the story of my artful surrender.
I was not artful. I did not surrender.
I clacked, awkwardly, toward the center of the wooden floor
until it occurred to me I wasn’t the student for this,
until I realized I wasn’t willing to learn the steps required.
I felt the rhythm long enough to understand
this was not the tool, the diving board, my launch pad
into greatness. Maybe I would not be great. Maybe I would
never know, even, how to be good, how to carry my body
through the world as if on a pillow of air.
Maybe I would forever limp away,
my heart flagellating itself with deprecation and gloom.

Except this.

I was built for the accidental, for the elusory, for the split-second
grace of a cresting wave before it tumbles into obsolescence.
The ear-shaped pine cone tossed aside for its imperfection,
the dying pepper plant, broken glass, the sound of coughing
from the back room – these are my flawed cohorts,
my feckless playmates, the orchestra pit from which
an eccentric disharmony sneaks out after the professionals
have laid down their horns, gone outside to smoke a cigarette.
Once they’ve left, this is a place of derelict wonder,
of castoff elegance, of a world brimming with every exquisite
uncertainty, and in this room, I am never clumsy, or wrong or lost.
I am as close to home as ever.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was moved by this piece. You are not alone at home in your room. I can relate, and in that there is connection that bridges the barrier of aloneness. That is what writing does, and you do it well.. Dianne J.

GailNHB said...

I LOVE this piece, Maya. This homage to disharmony and awkward dancing and derelict wonder and every exquisite uncertainty. That's my world and my life - and by golly, I'm learning to accept it, to embrace it, to love it! Lumps, bumps, tripping, falling, and spilling coffee along the way. This is my home; this is my life.

Temple Woman said...

HONey.
great stuff.

dee woods.

Sonya Lea said...

I woke up thinking of all the ways I could cover up my loneliness today, and then I found this amazing poem. Reading it over and gazing at the cherry tree in bloom, and thinking of my own derelict wonder. Love being inside your big mind, Maya. Thank you. Sonya P.S. - I miss you.

lucychili said...

thankyou