The Nutcracker by Petra Vergunst

The Nutcracker

Not the swishing of swords
or the cries of mouse warriors
but the swirl of wind through
the opened door lingered

That whoosh took dancers by surprise:
soft snow had silenced his steps
no crunch of shoes on the gritty pavement

The loud knock on the door still echoed
when Clara slipped downstairs
untied the velvet ribbon
folded back crisp paper

She chose not for the slow
crack of a walnut
but broke the night with a yawn
soft gasps interwove with castanets
the swing of a waltz
soft, soothing sitars
until another tap of knuckles
on the wooden door
dissolved her dream

*This poem was performed at the Con Anima choir concert, Aberdeen on 12 December 2015, so first appeared in print in their concert programme.

Petra Vergunst is an Aberdeen-based freelance community artist, poet and composer currently writing on the themes of music, sound and silence. Her poetry has appeared in amongst others Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Stare’s Nest, The Open Mouse, Poetry Scotland, Nutshells and Nuggets and various anthologies.

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