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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ballerinas and Buffalos

John's hair splayed out on his pillow
As he dreamed

Of lacing up his pointe shoes tightly
Stretching his muscles out
Opening the door and setting out
Westward ho!

Dancing down the cobbled streets
Waving to his friends
Stopping to meet and greet
Gaining a few followers
Who likewise laced up their shoes to feet
Before setting off again
A group now fifteen dancers strong
Across the city
Past the statue of the founders
In the city square
With it's fluttering flag and war memorial
Saluting their sacrifice as a united throng

Passing the city limits sign
It's population numbers now wrong
To the tune of twenty two
As forty four feet
And two hundred and twenty toes
Danced and flexed in formation
Sometimes in one column
Other times making separate rows

Music coming from nowhere
Always accompanied the troupe
As they improvised
In time with the music
As their imaginations advised

Every little town they danced through
Sometimes following roads
Other times not
Twirling and leaping over the grass and flowers
As one
In pairs
In threes
More dancers joined them
As more heard the music
And felt their feet stir
Shucking their shoes and boots
Feeling the urge to go
Revisit their nomadic tribal roots

Dancing across the prairie now
Three hundred and sixteen danseur and danseuse
Lifting and tossing one another over obstacles
With grace and strength
Toes pointed
Legs flexed
In formations of various shape and length

All coming to a halt between two hills
Face to face with a buffalo herd

John stepped lightly to the head of the phalanx
Eye to eye with the first buffalo
Bowing slowly and rising into position five
Hands gracefully over his head
Pirouetting lightly
Catching the buffalo's eye
As it too started to sway with the unseen music

John and the buffalo began to dance in tandem
Mirroring one another after a fashion
In this dance so unlike the other
This addition of bovine quadrupededness
Of hooves dancing on edge in the dirt
Heads of enormous size
Horns coming dangerously close
Sparkling wild buffalo eyes

With a crescendo the entire herd joined in
Along with all the two legged dancers
An explosion of movement
Creating it's own shock wave
Rippling across the tops of the chest high grass
In concentric circles from the group
Now moving as one coordinated performance
Continuing on West
Towards the future
And the end of John's dream
Maybe reaching a destination at last
Leaving him wondering what it could all mean

To twirl and stomp
To toss and shake
Dancing it's way onward
The moving performance the end in itself

And so goes our tale of ballerinas and buffalos
Tall tales of the tall grass
Flights of fancy in the flatlands
Tacking with the winds
In diagonal lines
All signs pointing Westerly
Following the old dreams
From sea to shining sea