Monday, January 12, 2009

Ballerina Carla

During my early college days in the mid-1970s, there were several young ladies who I was privileged enough to have as my friends. The one who most stands out in my memory, however, is Carla.

To me, Carla was magical. Humble, kind, supportive and loving, she quickly found a special place in my heart where she still resides. She treated me as if she were my big sister and helped me through a tumultuous period in my life.

Carla had been an aspiring dancer and understood loss. A car accident injured her back so severely that it ended her dreams of being a dancer. The physical injury also left lasting emotional scars along with it.

Little did I know --- or, perhaps more aptly put, what I failed to consider --- was that my birthday gift to her would open those scars to such a degree that her wounds would be made fresh again, causing her to recoil from me in a flood of tears and flee from the gaze of her other birthday guests. How could I have been so blind?

It was a poem that inflicted so much pain. My poem, a birthday poem, which I wrote for her and her alone. A special poem, a sonnet, each line starting with a letter that formed the words, "Ballerina Carla." So thoughtful, so personal --- too personal, and ultimately, thoughtless.

The poem is still in my possession, safely tucked away where it can cause no further damage. Only the last two lines echo clearly in my mind.
Life is her stage; her heart has prancing feet,
And dance, she will, until life's rivers meet.
My guess is that her grief prevented her from ever seeing those two lines.

The Perils of Poetry - first in a series.

1 comment:

Live and Learn the Hard Way said...

That is so beautiful and sad...has me thinking...