Poem 11: Irish Jig

I am swept away.
Toes pointed, scuffling
unable to walk
but dancing
with a lightness that
like happy motes
in sunlight.

Where have I been?
Where did I go?
Where am I now?
I haven’t the wits to guess,
the breath to answer.

My feet prance on.

My mouth could never hope to lay shape
to these melodies,
speak this wordless language:
its vowels too delicate,
its rhythms too complicated
for my heavy American tongue.

If I close my eyes,
my body will dance on
and on,
twisting and gyrating
and meeting people whose names
I don’t understand.
When I open my eyes,
and who
will I have become?


In response to Katy Adelson’s “Swallowtail Jig

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