The Dancer

I’ll Dance

Donloyn LeDuff Gadson


The Dancer, 2014 Donloyn LeDuff Gadson
The Dancer, 2014
Donloyn LeDuff Gadson


When you gaze upon my withered skin
Casting judgments
As if you know where I’ve been,

I’ll Dance…
Even Then, I’ll Dance

When my peculiar stillness makes you jeer
Scoffing my intelligence
Instilling fear

I’ll Dance…
Even Then, I’ll Dance

When you say nothing I touch will ever thrive
In your eyes I am barren
But inside I remain alive

I’ll Dance…
Even Then, I’ll Dance

When life’s challenges have beat me down
Unloved and unwanted
Crying tears of a clown

I’ll Dance…
Even Then, I’ll Dance

When the forces working against me, devise a treacherous scheme
The elements, in all their grandeur, become my enemies

When the sun burns, beaming down, upon my weathered and blistered flesh
In this scorching, fiery furnace, I flail about and thresh

When the wind joins in the pounding, blowing, throwing, hurling
Causing a sandstorm of pain and hurt, and the oppression has me whirling

When the tide steps in, with its constant phases
Rising, drowning me, falling, exposing me, confusing me with all these changes

When the waves take center stage, crashing and thrashing against me
I retreat far within my twisted dry skin, in my sanctuary I hide deeply

When the sand shifts beneath my feet, bringing me instability
When I dig in deeper, holding on tighter, despite the uncertainty

I’ll Dance…
Even Then, I’ll Dance

It’s my toughened exterior that has allowed me to endure
Because of my hurts, I’m stronger
My heart is powerful; my soul triumphant
I know defeat no longer

The beauty, love and joy in my heart
Create a harmonious symphony
The trumpets and harps of angels collide
I dance as they serenade me

As I sway, spin and arabesque with each test
The trials become so easy
Throw at me what you will, do to me as you wish
Your doubt can no longer defeat me

I’ll Dance…
Even Then, I’ll Dance

Even though the sun with its powerful rays
Burns me with its heat
When the hard day is done, I am granted reprieve
The torture stops, it retreats

The moon appears and cools my burns
Bringing with it twinkles of promise
Giving me time to dance with my dreams
A hope for a better tomorrow

In the morning, the sun will undoubtedly return
Bringing with it every conspirator
But I’ll be waiting, with grace and elegance
Me, the beautiful dancer…

And I’ll Dance…
Even Then I’ll Dance


~Special thanks to Kristi Woods Meeuwse whose original photograph inspired this piece. May God forever bless you.~