She is the teacher
of this world-beat happy
Zumba dance class.
She glows, blonde and smiling,
peppy and cute in a way that
doesn’t make you hate her,
movements
    graceful, hip, rhythmic, jazzy,
fun to watch.

I look around the room and
see the rest of us,
comfortable in our sweats,
t-shirts, some looking
confused, some concentrating
determinedly.  Movements
      jerky, awkward, fumbling, stiff.
People looking in the window
would see us, our scraggly group,
not the smooth, sure teacher
at the front of the room.

 

I feel a tenderness towards us
as I look around—we are here and
we are dancing, even though we
look more like hippos than gazelles.
It might not show, but we
are having fun.
I catch my own determined face
in the mirror,
remembering now
to smile.

                                                                      –Theresa Jarosz Alberti, 2011