“My Mother Was a Dancer and She Never Looked Back” by Luigi Coppola

Ekphrastic Challenge, January 2019: Editor’s Choice


Belle of the Ball by Vasu Tolia

Image: “Belle of the Ball” by Vasu Tolia. “My Mother Was a Dancer and She Never Looked Back” was written by Luigi Coppola for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, January 2019, and selected as the Editor’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]


Luigi Coppola


and why would you when up ahead is vermilion,
gold, when the dress you wear is billowed
by poise, hemmed with every minute
of every hour you practised, each step a step
forward, each twirl gathers momentum
for the next movement, the soles of feet
parallel, straight, laced, hair tied tight, draped down
a shoulder, taut in tense air where hopes spring
up like sped-up film, seed to flower in seconds
and that is how fast life feels—if you turn your head
for a moment you’ve missed it, left wondering
where has my partner gone, where is the audience,
who has been judging me this whole time?

from Ekphrastic Challenge
January 2019, Editor’s Choice


Comment from the editor, Timothy Green: “This poem is just flawlessly beautiful. A single sentence—14 lines including the title—flowing seamlessly down the page without a single misplaced word toward meaningful revelation. Don’t turn your head or you’ll miss it.”

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