Mr.Hayes Latin class The vice principle’s suggestion I went. Latin? I knew some French - Ballet is French. Never said the words “pas-de-deux” Outside the studio tho, not till then. Right then all I wanted to do was dance circles around Mr. Hayes And if I got close enough, take his pulse (if he had one). He taught from the dais, behind a lectern. Tall, thin -El Greco paintings thin. Pale, cadaver pale with an alabaster blue tinge. Spanish nobility- Christian clergy. Black suit - black tie - blazing white shirt- Silver'd lines on his trousers, Dead centre – ironed in. I think he used Vaseline in his hair. It was plastered down, sculpted, The way mine was for classical performances. I loved his voice - each word a dirge note- Solemn and calibrated, like his eyes. I danced the stories in both- I studied that way: with body memory more than mind. His hands were beautiful, Strong, precise and near transparent fingers- Slow motion articulation That made turning a page an art form. They reminded me of Albrecht Durer’s praying hands - They were perfect, DaVinci would have loved to sketch them. “Latin is alive” he said. “Are u?” I thought. “So dance with me, Mr. Hayes, just a short pas-de-deux.” He looked away- I was there already.
© Willow-Marie Power