Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Baryshnikov's Feet

















 



Baryshnikov’s Feet

Look up and you see
a green man, a faun, ageless,
graceful as a silver birch,
a delicate fool about to embark
on the first of many Spring journeys.

Look down, and you spy
the feet that twist beneath him,
thick as the roots that anchor an oak,

Atlas feet that could support the world, 
spreading out below rock hard legs,

feet like old women, with cigarettes
hanging from their lips, as they read
Pushkin aloud to an empty room,

heroic feet, old and crazy now,
Baba Yaga’s house dancing
across the forest, each toe
a chicken foot digging in,

feet with rivering veins in them,
muscles big as a lion’s haunches,

feet with the iron grab of an old man
on a bread line, desperate to tell you
a story about hard knocks, solidity,
risk taking, great leaps that bring
painful landings, a man
who puts himself to hard use
in order to lift the rest of us up.


3 comments:

Elizabeth Welsh said...

This poem has such virtuosity and strength! I adore the choice of subject. It stood out. Thanks, Eileen.

Vespersparrow said...

Wonderful piece of writing, Eileen--its power builds and vibrates and spreads, and your describe this icon in so many lively and unexpected and rich poses. Just a splendid description--we very nearly see him in motion. Thank you.

Esther Helfgott said...

Eileen,
I love this poem, so vivid and intimate. Thanks for posting.