One of the Twelve Dancing Princesses Speaks On How the Dancing Was Spell Forced On Them and the Abomination Thereof

by Annette Marie Smith

It wasn’t the soreness of my feet
the aching that felt like an entire country
was being Greek fire bombed beneath my skin.
It wasn’t the blisters the size of onions
translucent and pulsing with a life of their own.
It wasn’t the way that my legs were broken
hobby horses forced to glide
on the wheeled balls of magic
or the way that my waist threw me about
rag doll above and rag doll below,
devil’s winch in between.
My hair shaken loose became
flagellant whips, gin tipped and sharp as sin.
But it was not those nettles either.
The false gaiety and strangled laughter
were not the beam
that could not be plucked and which really
broke this proverbial camel’s back.

It was the physical compulsion
the being forced to do something
no matter how pleasurable
against my will.
If you do not need my will
then what neccesitance me?

Selkie Shift

Dress of Paper by Annette Marie Smith
I wore a dress made of paper
It rustled when I walked. You were the wind
pulling at it, creeping with fingers of cold
trying to get under my skin.
I came dressed in mud, painted obscure as night.
You were the chain that pulled on the light.
I wore birdsong
and dawn was a crown in my hair.
You came with a lawnmower and blade-spread
feathers everywhere.
I took off my skin and wore spirit to escape you
but you stole my skin like I was a selkie
making me feel I could never go home
would always be prisoned with you.
— Why I Left When I Could by Annette Marie Smith

Moving Forward Retreat


Here I am on the job, Writer/Letter Carrier. 🙂
I’m so honored to have been nominated as a candidate and selected to attend the Minnesota Union Women’s Retreat! My union is picking up the tab for all expenses for this three day opportunity to network and workshop with other women to foster greater participation by women in their workplaces, unions, and communities AND I get paid for those days ‘off’.


Here also is a pic of the brochure and some helpful hints for improving the Women’s Retreat experience. I hope you notice that they specifically ask for the poetry. 😉