Confession: Although I work with kids, and have done so for years, I still feel awkward around them, and the dancing mentioned in the poem below does not come from any place of talent on my part, but because it's just one way I know of to entertain the youngest ones still small enough to be carried and who like to crazy dizzy sense of flying that whirling and dipping can bring. Hey, I used to love it when a grownup would lift me up and let me "play airplane" by swinging me in a wide circle.
So, here goes.
Jennifer is taller nowthan the artificial Christmas treeI sold at a yard sale in July,and Rachel has a sweet voiceshe uses in long conversationsthat only she can understand.As for Sarah, she is small,barely begun, a life unexplored,with wide eyes and a serious stare.This is her first Christmas hereon Earth, but the only gifts I havefor her are love and hugs and laughsand maybe dancing aroundthe kitchen, holding her in my arms,making up the music as wetwirl and step and bump intothe fridge then swing 'round and start againin a family traditionbegun when Jennifer firstwas small and loved to dance to sillytunes and giggle and call for more.Rachel, too, still likes to dance,but she hops on her own sturdy feetand runs in circles through the houseor down the hall, chattering,screaming in false fright then in laughter,a merry whirlwind that rarelypauses, but sometimes snugglesclose, blanket-wrapped like a babushka.Jenn, taller than the Christmas tree,reads books, writes poems, her wordsdancing though her feet so rarely do.Yet we dance however we may--it's Christmas-time with family,the warmest time, the coldest day.
c. December 2010, KB