AT THE BAR MITZVAH, Ysabel de la Rosa

At The Bar Mitzvah
for Helen, who gifted her son with her dance

by Ysabel de la Rosa

Your arms seed the space,
make the air grow. Feel the molecules
divide as your skirt swirls with you,
spiral of color.

Dance for the son who
watches the one
who gave him life,
granted him passage.

Your arms cradle the space,
carve the air as you sail through
starting steps and then spinning turn.

Your hands free the space
once cradled and contained,
opening outward with grace.

You bring new angles to manhood’s first
day—knee touches elbow—and then
bring new curves—a sweeping thigh draws
circles in the air.

Dance for the son, the one
whose presence brings you
light, life, love.

Celebrate the bond that needs no tie
as you reveal this gift of many blessings:
space, meaning, self, art.

May your son accept these blessings.
May he carry his mother dancing
forever in his heart.

Ysabel de la Rosa’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals. Her feature writing has been published in 45+ publications in the U.S. and abroad. In 2014, her poem, “Palo Duro Palette,” was awarded first place for creative verse by Press Women of Texas


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