Can Babies Dance? A Poem

Can Babies Dance?

Asks the NPR commentator, in cultured tones
somewhere between serious and sardonic.
A study shows they do, he reports,
now amused and cool,
but aren’t very good at it.

No salsa, waltz, or fiery tango
No mini Fred or Ginger or Madonna
No polka, foxtrot, supercool electric slide for tots
but tiny butts will jiggle
with the beat, he says.

Had I been in that study, I could have told them about
You, my cadenced child, who danced below my heart,
some days a minuet, some a frantic jitterbug,
baby toes tapping four/four time
rib bones rattling like maracas to a beat.

A swimmer, composing a style,
pulsing with rhythms of life yet unknown,
already part of the choreography
the chorus line of the air
just about ready to join in the dance.

Brenda Robert
April 5, 2010

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