May 17, 2008
By Betty Chen, Plano, TX

In front of the mirror I sit,
My make-up brush in hand.
My face illuminated by bulbs,
As I begin what will make me a ballerina in the end.

My face is an even canvas of color,
Before my cheeks become rosy and pink.
My lips are reddened and glossed,
And my eyes outlined in ink.

My eyelids are a glimmering field of blue,
The edges an off-white.
My eyelashes are long and fine.
And my eyebrows dark as night.

My hair is pulled back against my head,
Not a single strand is out of place.
The hair is coiled at the nape of my neck,
The flowers gathered and pinned at the base.

My costume is taken out,
The beading twinkling in the light,
The tutu is shaken until smooth,
And the straps tightened to ‘just right’.

My pointe shoes are removed,
Ribbons unwound lovingly with care,
The satin shines as I slip it on.
And tie the ribbons as snug as I dare.

With a final parting look,
Into the mirror I gaze.
I snatch the snow white fan,
And make my way to the stage.

I am not the first to reach the wings,
Nor am I the last.
I stop and try to catch my breath,
Before I let the preceding dancers pass.

As I hear the first refrains
Of my music begin to play
The spotlight clicks on,
And I begin my dance with a perfect piqué.

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