Ona Gritz

Today I’ve Been Declared a Dancer

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

Me, with my strolling pace and tilting step,
but also the kids with hinges and metal hips,
the girls on wheels, and all those
with missing digits. It’s a street fair and it’s ours,
we who were born dancing freeform
as we figured our way from place to place.
No choreographer, no Riverdance, no one
but us moving how we move. Just now the trees,
with their scribble of uneven branches,
shake their leaves like fans and boas.
None of them the color of envy. None of us
trying and failing to imitate you.

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About the Author

Ona Gritz’s new collection of essays, Present Imperfect, is now out from Poets Wear Prada. She is also the author of Geode, a Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award Finalist, and On the Whole: A Story of Mothering and Disability. A longtime columnist at Literary Mama, Ona’s poems and essays have appeared in PloughsharesThe New York Times,  River TeethThe Bellevue Literary ReviewBrevity, and elsewhere. Recent honors include two Notable Mentions in Best American Essays, a Best Life Story in Salon, and a winning entry in The Poetry Archive Now: Worldview 2020 project.