Michelle McMillan-Holifield / Flash Fiction 4.1 / Spring 2016
“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back . . . It is not for unsteady souls.”
-Merce Cunningham, Dancer and Choreographer
Let go of the routine. When you follow the same steps for thirty years, your feet and hands dance before you’re even out of bed. Your body bemoans. Your mind has already made it down the street, around the corner. You bend, lift, swing to the melodious sputter of song. Low chamber-rolls like drums: rumble, tumble, idle.
Think of the occasional wave. Your arm lifting in response. You continue to wave until the stranger is obscured by the spill (so fresh, unexpected) of tears darkening your shoes. So deeply will you miss those small gestures that you might even love that stranger without restraint.
If someone asks what you enjoyed most, swagger, come to rest on your strong leg, tell them this: the plosive joggle of the garbage truck, the cadence of the engine, its muddle-noise. The bobble route, the nomadic shimmy of bend, pick up, release. The daybreak, the dusk, and all the mix in between.
Michelle McMillan-Holifield studied poetry at Delta State University in the Mississippi Delta. Her work has been included in or is forthcoming in Boxcar Poetry Review,Halfway Down the Stairs, The Found Poetry Review, poemmemoirstory, A Quiet Courage, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and Windhover among others. She is an MFA Candidate at the University of Arkansas/Monticello.