Dancer and leper leaping across the stage
Feet distorted and deformed, twisted bones
And sculpted muscles, tight; pent up rage.
Spinning on a toe like a music box figurine
One leg straight, the other tense and bent
At the knee; muscles cramping, figure lean.
A puppet without strings, its master absent
The young girl stares ahead, eyes fearful
Her movements mechanical and her self spent.
June 20, 1999
Notes: During my third semester in graduate school I took a course on German Romanticism, and for my term paper I wrote on Kleist's ``On the Marionette Theater'', a text that---among other things---deals with puppets, the Garden of Eden, and self-reflection. Kleist's text served as inspiration for this poem.