My Poem for 8th Brigid Poetry Festival
Bulgarian Women’s Dance
I dance with my sisters,
the men gathered
at the periphery
to watch. But after
the first few steps
we are hardly aware of them.
Who cares whether they stare or smile?
Who cares if they judge or ignore?
Hands joined, arms bent at the elbows
to form a W,
we women whose hands and arms
wash clothes and dishes,
mend socks and shirts,
carry buckets and babies,
soothe feverish brow and ill tempers
dance this dance for ourselves.
When the music denotes, we drop
hands and place them on our hips, moving
in and out of the circle
on our own, yet with kindred steps.
Shoulders leading, some of us sway
to tease the men we've almost forgotten,
while others move assertively, as if
to shrug them off.
Hands once again joined,
our arms, now straight, taut,
bring us closer, as their strong swinging
Dancing, hands still clasped,
we raise our arms high.
Dancing, we trill our glee.
Dancing, for one sweet
instant, we sense our
Copyright 2007 by Judith Laura. All rights reserved.
This is one of four of my poems first published on the e-journal Fiera Lingue in the January 2009 issue "Poetic Responses to the 2008 American Elections." It was inspired by the Bulgarian dance, Dobrudjanska Ruka, as performed by some DC area groups in which I participated.