Today, ignoring the voice of memory: my mother saying, “Never,
Never stand on furniture to change a light bulb”…
I stood on a desk to change a light bulb
Slipped, fell… hit the floor
But before I did
The desk flipped
I hit the steel frame with all the force of gravity
On my side
Nearly cracked a rib!
I could barely stand.
The students were astounded.
The class was canceled.
The doctors were astonished
I didn’t break a bone, damage an organ —
I love the pain killers, ordered pizza
May stay home tomorrow,
It only hurts when I recall having sex five years ago
Or watch an action movie —
Someone saw a lesson in The Fall, Yes:
Follow the rules, abuse no tree or furniture
Cause no pain or injury, simple gravity
Is greater than man’s best balance, ignore not the ancient Mother Voice.
They led us to sunlight on the grass beside the school
Brought an extension cord and phonograph with a box
Of long silks of many colors, played Stravinsky’s Firebird
Ravel’s La Mer, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and suddenly
We began to move like birds, like deer trailing scarves!
We began to come alive outside the classroom, the box.
We became human for the first time in our public school.
This was kindergarden, no thought, no conditioned response
We were happy to be in the light with melodies enchanting us
Inspiring wonder in motion as in many innocent moments
Unaware of gender or race, only a spontaneous urge to run
Dance in circles with colors glowing over our heads, sway
In time to leap and fly celebrating two or three colors,
Yes, simply being as children are, free to express and play.
We were fully alive for thirty minutes– it felt like hours.
The teachers smiled when the experiment was over, they had
Done their best to evoke some creativity in us, but that
Was never needed, we needed only to be worry-free, fearless
Willing to listen, to laugh, and you know, I can’t tell you
How many yearless moments, I’ve wondered why this memory
Returns like a dream of an old love, time and again– Well
I don’t anymore, but fall, into a reverie and dance, dance again.
Poem appeared 1st in “Of One & Many Worlds” by Rayn Roberts Poetic Matrix Press