Dancing Shoes: Two Poems by Maddie Godfrey

By Maddie Godfrey

Normand Park

today, a young toddler stares at me in Normand Park
ice cream cone in one hand, chocolate flake in the other
I want to tell her to never hesitate before the food reaches her mouth
to reject the intricate tap dances of shrinking womanhood
I want to tell her that the pigeons will always be her friends
even when they shuffle away
I want to tell her that the world is full of playgrounds, no matter how big you become
and some day she will learn how her own body can be a playground,
especially in gentle hands

I want to tell this girl how long the trees have stood here
and how the insects and sky, praise their growth
how “growth” is not a dirty word
how “dirty” is not a derogatory word
how even the pigeons are not pristine
and being a little bit scuffed is perfectly okay
I want to tell her that “perfect” is a derogatory term
as unstable as these rubber swings
as flimsy as these plastic slides
I want to tell her to eat up her childhood, as I watch it drip down her hand
– like melting ice cream

but I have already jumped the fence around the playground
and now I am too big to get back in


Dancing Shoes

bare feet sqafter we broke up
the dance floor of my body hosted a party
and I was the only one invited

you should’ve seen
how a body can grind a memory
how blood looks under a spotlight
the way my thighs were sticky with glitter

you should’ve seen
how it moved without you
without your touch, your gaze, your songs, your praise
how the party lasted all night

and in the morning, I realised
my bare feet had always been
dancing shoes

Maddie Godfrey is an Australian-bred poet currently living in London. She is enthusiastic about glitter, the colour purple and veggie burritos. Maddie is the current Western Australian poetry slam champion, and has also won slams in London, Cambridge and Oxford. Over the last year she has performed at the Sydney Opera House, co-written a stage show, and participated in the Women of the World Poetry Slam and festival in Brooklyn, New York. Off stage, Maddie’s work has been published on feminist websites, on a University poster, in anthologies and as part of a YouTube series. More of her writing can be found at www.facebook.com/maddiegodfreypoet.

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