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?