Sophia’s Away at Ballet Intensive

This morning the mirror over her dresser shows only leaf
shadows and dappled light through curtains covered with
grey and blue birds. She’s been away for a month, and her
room is untouched. I hesitate in the doorway, knowing that
my sewing scissors are in there somewhere, under half empty
bottles of papaya lotion and a pile of unmatched socks. The
shaggy black pony on a blond stick quips hey sexy lady, eyes
me from his post in the corner. The gargantuan Easter rabbit
from her Jewish grandfather leans back on the pillow, plumply
complacent. Her closet door stays open-to close it would be to
hide something from myself. Inside, I see a cluster of defunct
pointe shoes, ten pale pink years hanging over the bar. On
her wall are Renoir girls, flushed and gilt-framed, huddling
together over their book. I leave without finding the scissors,
without even looking for them.

Heather Nelson’s poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, Spoon
River Poetry Review, The Somerville Times, Constellations, The
Ekphrastic Review and The Compassion Anthology. She lives in
Cambridge, MA.