When Words Fail

    “When Words Fail,” New Era, Oct. 1989, 51

    When Words Fail

    Why Dance?

    I asked,

    Until I saw

    The body whirl,

    The color flow.

    Drawn in. Things felt.

    Were I to try to

    Say them back,

    I’d have to dance.

    Why Sing?

    I asked,

    Until I heard

    The hymn of praise that

    drew a tear.

    Emotions stirred. So deep—

    Were I to

    Spell them out,

    I’d have to sing.

    Why Paint?

    I asked,

    Until I saw

    The well-loved scene

    With captur’d mood.

    A feeling rare, hard to

    Explain. Just to


    I’d have to paint.

    So now I know

    Why dancers stretch,

    Why voices strain,

    Why artists toil.

    To capture feeling,

    A glimpse expressed—

    Where volumes fail.

    one dance,

    one song,

    one scene,

    Will do.