Ballet Shoes: An Ode

by Kristina Miljkovic

I only trained twelve years
To get to
I love the feeling
of the extension of my feet,
The crackling of my knees.
To crunch my arch up in my shoe
Like it’s a sponge.
Second of my skin, shiny like my heart
The satin slips on the marley
And down I fall.

Adorned with ribbon like a satin-wrapped prize
Hidden with elegance the pain they disguise.
A shoe filled with blood as much as my
Veins, and then the teacher says
Do it again.
The blisters they stain
As much as gun shots.
They’re popping and bursting
All through the shoe, ruining the
Plaster and softening them too.

The softer and softer the shoes become
The more it hurts
And the more I run.
Up on my toes
Turning around
Jumping up high
Now roll to the ground.
My teacher she screams
The room falls silent all you can hear
Is the wooden boxes
Clunking along the floor.

The sweat is running as fast as my
And I feel my circulation cut off
Part by part.