THE LITTLEST DANCER
 
The recital set for Two O'clock,
For the little, dancing girls,
Shining, beaming faces,
Sparkling eyes and bobbing curls.
 
Pretty pastel leotards,
Along with dainty tutu's,
Ballerinas everyone,
Now ready for review.
 
The music starts; the place is hushed,
A line forms across the stage,
The girls are in position,
Arranged by size and age.
 
The tallest in the center,
The smallest at each end,
Arms raised high together,
The performance now begins.
 
They move to and fro and circle round,
To the front, then to the back,
They dip and wave and bend and sway,
Step this way and step that.
 
Proud parents in the audience,
Bursting at the seams,
Heads, nodding with the music,
Offspring, fulfilling dreams.
 
But wait - there is a tiny tyke,
Standing almost in the wings,
Unmoving - frozen in one spot,
A frightened little thing.
 
The other girls are dancing well,
But there stands this little waif,
Tears forming in her eyes,
Her small body - rigid - straight.
 
And then the tears began to roll
Down her tiny, baby cheeks,
The other girls dance on and on,
Unaware the child weeps.
 
The teacher comes and moves the child
Back and forth in the routine,
Obedient, though crying,
She moves like a machine.
 
The teacher lifts her little arms,
To match the other girls,
Then she turns the child around,
Just as the others twirl.
 
The music stops; Act One is done,
The girls bow and leave the stage,
The teacher hugs the little one,
And carries her away.
 
Change of costume; Act Two starts,
The dancers back in place,
And, yes, there is the little one,
The tears washed from her face.
 
Again, she does not move,
While the others bend and sway,
Again, the teacher helps the child
And moves her forward and away.
 
Every eye is riveted
Upon this tiny one,
And every heart is with her,
As each step is danced and done.
 
Then slowly - oh, so slowly,
The teacher takes her hand away,
And cautiously she moves
To the far side of the stage.
 
But!  Look!  Look!  The little girl
Is now dancing all alone,
A bit stiff, perhaps.  Who cares?
She is dancing on her own!
 
A thunderous applause is heard,
A tearful, cheerful, loud ovation,
The dancers bow and smile,
Such an awesome demonstration.
 
Then all the ballerinas leave,
Except the small one, who remains,
Who now seeks out her teacher,
To hug her once again.
 
The recital was a huge success,
But it was more than just the dance,
It had to do with love and trust,
And a child who was enhanced.
 
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright 2002 ~ Revised 2004