On Pointe

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My feet bruised, calloused and cut.
Full of blisters, bandages and pain.
I slip my foot back into the pink satin shoe, hard inner boxing, and stiff shanks.
Long matching slippery ribbons that wrap and pull to a knot.
Tight elastic sewn in a box.
Frayed ribbons crammed deep out of sight.
Toe pads tight and warm.
Bound feet rise to their toes.
Striking pain begins.
I cringe.
Muscle tight and pulling, ready to stretch.
Curling toes with every ounce of weight on them.
I try and move through the pain.
Digging, into the ground.
Jumping, turning, barre work, all on my toes.
Sticky rosin helps me feel the floor.
Falls, twisting and more pain.
I just put a smile on, deal with it.
Pointe is a story, gracefully told by feet.
I dance through the pain.
It’s my way of life.





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