Ballet Lesson

by Elaine Edwards

Imposter Granny I watch twenty tiny pink Cinderellas
carrying trays, dusting, waving fairy wands, making gowns, dancing at the ball.
No sadness here or ugly sisters.
The room smells of dust and Granny fragrances: peppermint and powder.

Thirty years ago I saw my own pink child in class,
trying, twig legs straining, tongue out, forehead frowning, to skip.
She shuffled forward, looked timidly my way. I smiled,
put sunglasses on to hide my tears. We walked home. Did not return.

Drums roll, tambourines sound, belly dancers enter.
Amidst the smoke and incense I see her twirling, shimmying, hip-swaying.
Her smile lights up the stage.

Why didn’t I realise
that some people prefer purple?

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