Death of a Dancer

Rebekah T


Sirens. Suddenly the sound of sirens filled the air And punctured the black nothingness I had been completely engulfed in. Pain. Pain was piercing my chest, Swelling in my head, Shooting up my legs- Dear God, my legs felt on fire. I heard the voice of a medic, Became vaguely aware of being moved, And then it all went black again. I next opened my eyes To a white hospital room Where my mother and sisters Were crying and holding one another. “M-Mom?” I managed to say, My words were cracked, but My mother would never fail to hear my voice. She rushed to my side and squeezed my hand, And then cried even more as she looked Into my face that I tried to fill with hope. Something wasn’t right. It was then that I noticed I could move my arms and feel my body But my legs were numb and lifeless. Weeks later I layed in bed, Scowling at my wheelchair and Holding my pointe shoes in my hands As if I could still be a dancer. Fourteen years I had danced, And a week before the crash I got into a conservatory. Every one of my dreams were coming true, But then fourteen years of joy, work, practice, and art Ruined by three seconds. Three seconds I used to Try and read a text From my best friend, hoping She was telling me she got her acceptance letter To the same conservatory as me. She did. But she was not on the road, She was at home. Safe. She was not driving. I was. And my three seconds ruined Everything I had worked for. I laid there with my pointe shoes in my hands, And begged my legs to move, Prayed that they would suddenly fold toward me And I would slip on my shoes as I had A million times before. And I would dance. But my legs did not move, Because they were anchored by The three heaviest seconds of my life.


I myself am a dancer, and I have always had this fear of loosing mobility of my legs from a car crash or some other incident. I drew upon that fear in this poem, and put myself in a position of “what if?”- What if I were driving and crashed into someone while checking my phone or being otherwise distracted. What if I couldn’t move my legs. What if I were to loose everything. I felt this reflection served as a good example of the true life-long effects distracted driving can have on a person, and put into perspective if the few seconds you take to check your phone or the few minutes you turn up the radio for your favorite song would really be worth it.