a fat girl's beginning dance lesson (for joyce carol oates)

a fat girl’s beginning dance lesson (for joyce carol oates)
By ?
she’s taking salsa steps on the concrete
a rare feat of agility for a fat girl on steroids
but never daring to take steps on the cracks
for the superstition haunts her everyday.
next to her lucky rabbit’s foot in her backpack
is a picture of her mother in her brown cotton
maiden mexican dress and a red ribbon in her hair
that threatens to fall like the sand that ticks
like a mathematical savant who stutters
when the homecoming queen asks him for help
to pass that trig test and they start dating like
an after school special that plays in her runaway brain
because she can’t think of anything else besides
the first steps to that free beginner’s lesson
and her mother’s beauty and grace in a pose-
and then the fat girl freezes her left foot.

0 thoughts on “a fat girl's beginning dance lesson (for joyce carol oates)

  1. Only 2 periods in whole piece lets it roll like a cosmic bowling ball strapped with dynamite bounding inside a Friday night mall {the poem literally dances to reflect its title}. Admired the comparison within a comparison…”like the sand that ticks like a mathematical savant [learned person] who stutters”… Or maybe it’s not a comparison within a comparison but just a comparison of two comparisons which makes it basically a singular comparison?
    The words ‘ticks’ and ‘stutters’ were very parallel-complementary of one another in the goal of descriptiveness.
    Another detail of poesy I that really made me think was the mention of a photograph early in the poem and then later the mention of a pose [both involved in describing {two different?} mothers]…then in the last line: “the fat girl FREEZES her left foot.” Deep stuff. I don’t know anything about Joyce Carol Oates, I’ll have to look her up. ‘He-he’–i took Stage Band instead of Trig my senior year…damn, perhaps i could have tutored the homecoming queen? Naw, it would have been the other way around and i would’ve had to mow her lawn. Cool poem. thx diydanna!

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