The ballerina’s pointe shoes are now torn and weary. Her toes are broken from tip-toeing a waltz on top of this silk thread of expectations. Her arms are tired of holding the same shapes of black and white around her masks. Her tutu waves goodbye to the freedom of childhood and melancholically shakes itself away into the shape of perfection. Lean, tall, a skeleton of broken whispers, her small breasts barely dare to cushion her woes. Her toes keep pointing down, down, where her gaze is meant to be while she dances a sad dance, a funeral march of what could never be. The dew drops on her forehead cascade through her soul like tears of salty anguish, little liquid mirrors that reflect the contraction of long-worn muscles.

The holes in her shoes are getting bigger and bigger and, suddenly, she starts to see where her toes are pointing to. She can see the dust and shadows of her tortures and she longs for a new tune that will carry her heart away from its steady rhythm.  And so she breaks the choreography in an attempt to look up. Her eyes become fixed in the feathered hopes that fly above and she stops the dance. A silence of suspense keeps time imprisoned in its grip. The mighty hand lets go and so does she. She takes off her heavy pointe shoes and jumps.

Se knows that she might fall but she jumps anyway. She jumps into her true self without fear or shame. She lands on quicksand, improvising her own dance, moving to her own humming, which grows and swells, gradually steadying the floor beneath her, allowing her to hear herself sing.

Her music rises and rises, until she isn’t afraid to sing, until she isn’t scared to dance, until she isn’t afraid to live.



Trimmed Wings

Cages of steel and stone made especially for birds of trimmed wings, who have long ago forgotten that they can even fly. Long, raised beaks that block their view and heavy curved nails that nail them to the ground so they can only walk, and sometimes skip, not knowing that they could be tucked away among the pearly clouds. Dark birds, colourful birds, white birds, transparent birds, loud birds and quiet ones too, they all feel an itchy emptiness in their breast, not realising that the answer lies in their now self trimmed wings. The falcons, eagles and owls fly above them with nonchalance and might, with a freedom they claim to offer but never truly deliver, for the other birds are their prey. So the caged birds look at them and dream and hope and think that one day, if they keep their nails on the floor and their beaks high, then one day they too will become a bird of prey, flying free among the others, looking down on all the ones that were too weak or too unworthy to become like them. But that never happens. Only the ones that stop trimming their own wings are the ones that get a chance to soar.