November 3: “Salome” by Day Williams

Salome

I learned to dance once I could walk
And stirred men’s hearts north, south, east, west–
Jerusalem’s High Queen of Dance

Was I; in rooms the people talked
And told their friends that I was best:
I put admirers in a trance.

Called to dance before the King,
I twirled and did what Mother wished:
I bowed and lowered eyes and asked
The king, who had an oath to keep.

I whirled in ever-smaller rings.
A guard brought in–blood on a dish–
The Baptist’s head, a thankless task . . .
What have I done? How can I sleep?

~Day Williams

salome

“Dance of Salome,” (c.1910), Leopold Schmutzler