Illustration by Helen Sun

It sounded like birds chirping
their mellow tunes, at the break of dawn;
like my mother’s slender fingers
that used to dance over the piano keys,
so swift and daintily
that I could never catch
her fingertips, gracing
the glossy white and black surface.

Her frilly tutu glistened
with fairy dust from the sunrays
that shone, through the sheer drapes
and glinted off the twirling skirt,
scattering magic across
the stark white walls.

It almost seemed like it was never-ending;
like the petite ballerina poised upon
the wooden box, would never stop spinning;
never stop smiling.

But slowly, the crisp chimes began to fade away
and the music stopped playing.
The birds ceased to chirp their sad tunes;
the keys stopped dancing
with every stroke, of my mother’s hands.
The magic disappeared, replaced
by a still nothingness.

And still, the fragile ballerina kept her smile
with her arms high above her head,
her thin fingers still touching
at the very very tip
even though
she stopped twirling.
The sunlight still shone through the window.