Dancing Queen – Elizabeth Train-Brown

the world is a stage and the speakers are on

It is very special to celebrate the life someone special through the medium of poetry, and Elizabeth Train-Brown remembers her Nana, who ‘spent her century-long life dancing and teaching others’, in a magical way. We are very proud to present ‘Dancing Queen’ in the blog. Having had experience working with cancer charities, she was very keen to support this project. Elizabeth followed her parents into a life of performance, becoming the ‘fire breathing Phoenix on stage’ and has also pursued a career in writing. Find out more about Elizabeth at: Dancing on the Knife Point. Thanks again Elizabeth for sharing your exceptional poetry.

Dancing Queen

(for Violet)

Her legs are stiff with age; it’s been so long since she danced,

Twirled and chartered the floor, chanced

Each night with a new man on her arm

Now, she’s stuck in a chair, blanket warm

Over her knees and the sky went dark hours ago.

She’s been dreaming with her eyes open, you know,

Gazing at the wall with a smile on her face as music drifts

Through the air and partners fly around her like swifts

In the sky. There’s a band in the corner, playing louder and louder:

Sax and bass and drums and voices shower

The dancefloor in streams of light, bathe the room in

Tangible ribbons of sheet music. Her lips part to sing

And somewhere, in another life, her voice echoes

Through the room and not a soul dare go

When their ears catch those fluttering notes.

Here, the air circles with lazy dust motes

But there, the world is a stage and the speakers are on:

I’m here! She cries into the mic. Did you think I was gone?

Their whoops and cheers carry her like stretchers

Through the crowd, each brush of skin electric with embers

Of song and dance and excitement in her veins again.

She’s dancing the foxtrot through torrents of champagne,

The waltz, the jive, the rumba, the salsa,

The tango, the jitterbug, the cha cha cha—

Her legs are alive after an age of rest,

Awake and electrified and the best

You will ever see from all around. She’s whirling and spinning

Across the dancefloor as if she never stopped; she’s finally winning.

They’ll cry, she knows, in that other life

Damp on their cheeks, hearts of strife.

But one or two will smile, spare a grateful thought

That up there above, heaven has a dance floor.

Elizabeth Train-Brown

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation.

Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

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