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1st Place Summer Poetry Contest Winner: Last Dance - Mindy Reed

A slight woman at the ballet bar,

Staring into the full-length mirror,

The only light—a full moon

Glowing down through the sky light.


In first position, toes pointed out, back straight,

Her long silver hair, crepe skin, sagging arm reflected,

The face staring back is her as a girl,

Her alabaster face is framed by brunet strands.



I bartered my soul for a pair of pearl earrings,

Got it back; traded it for a diamond,      

The last time I saw it, it was walking down Main Street

It wore hot pink stockings and a ring in its nose.



I sold my spirit for a gold engraved bracelet,

I wear it on my wrist like a number tattoo,

I gave my joy for instant gratification,

A quick hit of lust before falling back to earth.



I gave my heart for some chocolate and flowers,

The chocolate got stale,

The flowers died and withered,

Dropped black petals on a burgundy rug.



I hocked my dreams for a house in the suburbs.

My neighbors never knew me,

We hardly ever said hello,

That is when the loneliness began.



I still have a body; its individual parts are in demand,

A heart collects thousands; a liver maybe more,

The world has sold more than I will ever own,

I traded my soul and got nothing in return.



Without grace, can one function?

Push buttons and wonder what is next,

Was it worth all the losses to dine with kings and princes?

Was a jewel on my finger an adequate reward?



I hear noises, but not the sound of orchestra strings,

I want to plug my ears and muffle the noise,

Is it music I can dance to?

It is my own heart beating, setting the rhythm.


Mindy Reed is an author, poet, and ghostwriter. She is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Authors' Assistant, founded in 1995. Reed is a retired librarian who hosts the KOOP FM 91.7 show "Writing on the" Her published works include: This is the Dawning: a WoodStock Love story and Women of a Certain Age: Short Stories of the Twentieth Centruy.

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