“Dance in the pain,” she said

And she meant it

Although no one could know

How to dance with a

Broken leg

Cut at the knee

With no foot attached

And bleeding a




“Dance with the pain,” she smiled

A flip of her hair and

A casual blinking of

Her eyes

Signaled crossing—

Like a light at the corner

Of heartbreak and healing—

Into a sighing against

A dying inside of



“Dance on the pain,” she whispered

Her hand resting on

My cheek

I could feel the breeze

Of her breath

Tousle my hair

Blow a hurricane

Through my mind and

All my contents



“What does it mean?” I lamented

The what not important as the


But the when

Was too hot

Boiling in the kettle

Of my mind

On fire and shaking

Frenetic bubbles of



“What does it mean?” she squinted

Then she rubbed her eyes

And stared like


Blue and cold—

A story told in shadows

More than white

She sat on a throne called




Her flesh turned to marble

While her soul chiseled

The mound

Each pound fallen

To the ground

Made the sound of

Hollow drums of regret

A beating rhythm

Of hardened, dropping



“I asked about dancing,” I pushed

“You asked about pain,” she pulled

Both of us right

We ended the fight—

One statue, shining

And one man, pining

For the map and

Heavy with fear of

Two left feet and no



Her stony eyes filled with tears

She chiseled a smile

Held a book of her years

The woman

Once a square

Now round with edges soft

Curving in and then out

Stood amidst

The pebbles and dust of the



I took her hand of stone

It melted

Dripped down like a puddle into my own

My fingers held the small of her back

A song floated down

From the clouds

And the when and the why

Met in the space between us

Where pain and love



copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This sculpture was created by Irish artist, Kevin Francis Gray.  It is called Ballerina and a Boy.)