When you go dancing
do persons other than friends
ask you to dance?
Strangling words pierced lips
where love, passion and need once lived.
My gray crown
counting each subtle cruelty.
Long ago in my lover’s arms
I convinced myself
I was loved, beautiful and desirable.
This was love’s magic.
I became Cleopatra and Nefertiti
bold and courageous.
Now, love punished me for aging.
With each passing year
my lover’s desire and lust becoming closeted.
I became the aged woman kept at home
while youthful beauty danced in daylight.
Survival taught me
to kill the love I felt.
Learning to strangle my emotions.
Teaching my body not to want
and my heart not to feel.
Slowly and painfully I rediscovered herself.
Now in the midst of joy and dancing,
life now smiles and spirit need not remind me to laugh.
Gray crown, life and happiness are my reasons
Lorraine Currelley is a Poet, Writer, Pearls of Wisdom Storyteller, Founder Executive Director for Poets Network & Exchange, Collagist, Activist and Mental Health Counselor with a Specialization in Thanatalogy (grief & bereavement). She’s widely anthologized and a recipient of numerous awards. Among her awards are the 2015 New York Public Library Arts for A Lifetime Grant, a Bronx Council for the Arts 2014 Seniors Partnering with the Arts Citywide Residency ( S.P.A.R.C), BinderCon Scholar Grants for 2014 and 2015, a 2014 WWBPS Community Service Award and TWH Residencies for 2013 and 2014. She is the former president of the Harlem Arts Fund. She is a Board Member for both Pen To Mind Books & Child Development Concepts, Inc. and Blind Beggar Press, a Bronx Book Fair Committee Member and a Writing for Peace, Inc. Advisor. She and her organization Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. were featured in DoveTales Nature An International Journal of the Arts in 2015. Poets & Writers Inc. featured her organization Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. in their 2015 Cross Cultural reading and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) featured her in their June 2015 member Spotlight. She’s honored to be called an inspiration and saluted for courage, devotion to craft, and generosity by Poets & Writers, Inc. in their Jan/Feb 2016 issue.