She shouted over the thump
of a grand piano
at our tentative pas de chats.
TRUST THE AIR she insisted
as we teens peeled off into grande
jetes, her arms motioning us
upward toward unseen stars.
Sometimes the dreaded ELEPHANTS
ELEPHANTS, hands upraised
in mock horror. Her tinkling chandelier
doomed us to a dozen grande plies
without a stabilizing barre.
Miss Ruth’s regime, a ballerina
boot camp, shaped body, will,
aesthetics. Those who survived
acquired a certain swaggering mastery.
Sixty years later I look
in a full length mirror and see
through every seam of bone and sinew
what she made of me.
Sharon Scholl is professor emerita from Jacksonville University (Fl) where she taught humanities and non-western studies. Her new chapbook, Summer’s Child, is issued from Finishing Line Press. Individual poems are current in Adanna, Caesura, and Kalyna Language Press.