“Zumba with the Church Ladies” by Kate Buckley

Kate Buckley


They are God’s daughters. They are his wives.
They are his sisters, and his mistresses,
and the heat is quick between their thighs.
They are saving, they are staggering—
they are burning a thousand calories an hour,
an amazing grace. They are moving the bodies
God gave them, trying to whittle them
down to size. They like sweet potatoes
and Taylor Swift. They wriggle their booty,
they are Baptist—or maybe they’ve snuck in,
like me. And they are white and black and Asian,
and they are falling apart, and they are falling together,
and I am dancing as fast as I can,
just to keep up with them.

from Rattle #59, Spring 2018


Kate Buckley: “I’ve led a somewhat nomadic life, and my curiosity about the people and places where I find myself usually results in working it out through poetry. This poem was written after I took a Zumba class at the community annex of a Baptist church in Lexington, Kentucky. I went into the class feeling like an outsider—even an interloper—and left it feeling such love for and connection with every woman in the class.” (web)

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