Was never graceful; she twirled
In jerks, like the hands of a clock
Threatening to run late, until that
Last mad dash to timeliness.
She was homely, too: Red paint
Missing the mark of her lips, she
Looked the old woman persisting
In applying makeup once blind, when
Effect comes round to thwart intent.
Anyway the music sounded tinny
To my ear, immature as it was,
And not at all my favorite piece -
Russian-balletic, flirting with death,
Too conscious of itself by half.
The mirror glued crookedly
Onto gum pink crushed velvet -
(Which should have been maroon) -
Served no one, not even the
Ballerina, reflected off-kilter.
I was meant to feel renewed surprise,
I gathered, when opening up the box.
Instead I felt crushed as the velvet.
The plastic dancer's life was more,
Not less, tragic when my godlike hand
Drew back the curtains to reveal it.