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by Lyn Lifshin  

Not allowed to take ballet,
her father– lecher and gawker
at nuns and babies– said it
was not moral until, dying,
he apologized, said he was
wrong. My mother danced
on a table with the door
locked, could stand on her
toes barefoot and tho she
married a man who would
never try to tango, before
then, before fun ended, she
had to be dragged off the
dance floor. At 70, she
could bolt up Beacon Hill,
outwalk me in malls. No
"old lady" shoes for her
until the last weeks but four
inch spikes or five. In her
closet, shoes from years
of dance tho it had been
ages since she was the girl
with the most phone calls
in college, ready to drive to
New York City for a cup
of coffee but the shoes,
silver, gold, patent leather
sandals wait patiently
in the talcum dust for her
to be ready for them again



Lyn Lifshin Bio

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