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For Luigi, a poem by Jennifer Shoup

For Luigi
by Jennifer Shoup
I clatter down the steep stairs from street level,
pass Francis at the desk, wearing his hat that is NOT straw, 
round the corner into the studio to find John,
spot lit by sun falling through the skylight.
There is happiness here.
In the way the music compels me to move-
catch the accents, stretch the counts.
In the epaulment and shading,
the push and pull between earth and air,
the elegance of the lifted and open heart.
To dance, you said, put your hand on your heart and listen to the sound of your soul.
The power of that sound scares me-
leaves me open and exposed,
lays me bare.
But when I listen and dance,
what is hectic inside calms,
the noise and static recede.
And I am joy and light and music.
Never stop moving, you said.
How could I?
Moving is beauty and strength,
a lifeline,
the only way to survive.
How could I, When you never did,
and there is such happiness here?
Jennifer Shoup: “I am a dancer and an attorney who grew up, and currently works, in Indiana.”