“Learns to Dance (A Little)”
What a small, huge thing is touch
Like a trickle of rain off a leaf
To spill in the lake below. A drop, not much
But a ring ripple that grows: relief
To a too solid surface, grown cold
With too much reflecting and not enough
Movement. One drop more to the fold
Cascading its way through a green bluff
And stillness learns to dance
What a huge, small thing is touch
Like a ripple that extends, then fades
The ring expanding its open clutch
Including even the shades,
Hiding between the willow and moss
Where no one ever bothered to know;
Where no message before came across,
And stagnantly refused to grow.
So stillness learns to dance
What a subtle, deep thing is touch
To dive well below the surface,
Echoing through the body in such
Vibrant rings in a kiss, or embrace,
A pat on the shoulder, hold of the hand,
That the lost should retrace
The ripples and rain and understand
That all water learns to dance
*Author’s note: My friend, Carolyn, challenged me to write a poem about massage, as we are both massage therapists. Well, she stumped me (for now) but that got me to thinking, “What was one of the first lessons we learned about massage? Ah, yes: the importance of touch, that with the lack of touch, there can be a failure to thrive.” So, this became my topic.
There were some elements I could not quite work into the form of the poem and for that, I apologize–to myself, to my readers, yes, but most of all, to the poem: I wanted to convey that we are all water (a concept toward the end of the poem, though I fear it may have been too subtle? I don’t know; you tell me) and that the lake is made up of droplets of rain, ergo, all touch leaves an impression upon us and collectively, makes up the whole of who we are–just as who we are is a droplet in our social community.
Anyway, just my thoughts. I hope you enjoyed it.