For Children

Lillian Wilensky Hohn

Ballet

Third & Fourth Grade Poetry Honorable Mention

In the studio,
the teacher tells us the step.
When the music starts,
I drone out the teacher clapping,
And counting to the piano.
I focus only on the music, and my body.

I pointe, I plié, I pirouette.
We’re off the barre now.
We switch our lines, and repeat the step.
“Good,” the teacher says, “the second time was better.”
The teacher gives us a minute to stretch;
almost everyone tries their splits.

The teacher instructs,
“From the corner—Let’s do our grande jetés!”
Everyone hurries to line up.
The teacher tells the pianist to start.
As I watch my friends jump high, I imagine them on a real stage,
leaping across the floor.

Then it’s my turn.
I focus on myself: I run, I jump—
My legs stretch out—
I’m flying! I almost shout.
When I land,
I’m smiling, inside and out.