A Waltz I did Not Choose

Grief, a dance partner I did not

choose, puts me on display

for a waltz I have not learned.

He does not care that my ankles

are unlocked or that I am an unwilling

to follow his lead.

His grip is tight on my hand and weighty on my

shoulder.

Demanding elegance he holds his head

with the confidence of centuries of one-two-threes.

I rise when I should fall, and fall when

I should rise.

Slowly, I realize that the waltz will play on

until I follow Grief’s lead. Back right foot,

slide the left . . .

A repeated pattern of elegant sadness,

Until the crowd gasps in awe. I have

found joy in this pattern of sadness.

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