The Death of a Dance Shoe

March 28, 2008
By Gianna Cirino, Solon, OH

My soft tan sole sweeps across the floor,
Expressing emotion through movement.
Something is wrong. The music stopped.
The woman’s controlling index finger stopped it.

My motion ends.
My owner remains standing.
How could anyone ruin her dance?
The woman begins to talk.

My owner scuffs me against the floor,
I hear fragments of words,
The other girls hug the woman,
My owner stands still.

My owner stands still,
Feet itching to move,
The emotion and cacophony are too much for two shoulders to bear,
And she runs, faster than she ever has,
To her place.

My owner runs to her place,
The place where the tangled webs of chemistry and calculus unravel,
Where switch leaps and triples were conquered,
Where the juxtaposition of smooth concrete and soft green is apparent,
I prepare myself for the inevitable transfer,
I am never worn on the concrete,
But today my owner does nothing,
I remain on her feet.

My owner stands still,
Preparing her next graceful movement.
She tilts her chin upwards,
Signaling to the imaginary judge she is ready,
And she begins.

She throws herself into the dance,
Fiercely, more aggressive than she has ever been,
Her turns are consistent and sharp,
Her leaps touching the treetops,
The always-dreaded fouetté sequence gives her no trouble,
Everything is perfect.

She continues in this fashion for sometime,
Thrusting her emotions into the moves,
Each leap becomes a challenge,
A not-so-subtle sendoff to the leaving coach,
Every turn becomes a chance for her to show off what she can do without the coach,
And she continues.

Hours later, she ceases motion,
Breathing heavily and sweating.
I am torn, ripped in half,
For my soft leather is not designed to be used on concrete.
Every part of my body is filled with holes,
I am worthless.

She removes me from her foot,
Looking at me with disgust.
What did I ever do to her?
Without me, her feet would be torn and bleeding.
Emotions churning through her mind,
She leaves me alone on the concrete,
To die the life of a dance shoe.

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