Saturday, 11 February 2017

Push the Stop Button

by Jill Crainshaw


Katelyn loves to dance.
Twice around the sun and
she is discovering
music and her body
and how the two are meant to be together.
We rode a Ferris wheel, Katelyn and I,
noses pressed to the window
of our swaying gondola.
“Three times around,”
says the red-garbed amusement attendant,
“unless you need to stop.
Push this button if you do.”
I study the button. Katelyn studies the view.
We sashay into the celestial ballroom
where Independence Day fireworks
twirl and turn.
Cars shrink.
Blue umbrella tops hide diners
as they eat “the world’s best burger.”
The second time around,
Katelyn points, wiggles, laughs.
She doesn’t know and I don’t either
that in three more rotations of the earth
a truck will careen through screaming city crowds
in a place across the ocean just below us,
music decanting out of broken bodies
onto the street.
We crest the top and begin our descent.
I eye the stop button.
Katelyn loves to dance.

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Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She enjoys exploring how words give voice to unexpected ideas, insights and visions.