Shriya Roy

Dancing With Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory held a ball for the flames,
red, orange, yellow, dancing around those who could not be saved.         
The hosts fled the scene, they did not take the blame.
Far too much was gone, families took the fall, devastation reigned.

I would say life was lost, but were they truly living at all?
Through arduous labor, in a life worth living is happiness so small? 
Uncared for, conditions bleak, having to work until you drop,
or are swallowed by the heat.

Workers all around dealt with this life, or so-called.
There was desperate need of a change,
a need to be treated fairly.

Improvements in this need are necessary even today,
The girl dances with fire when a woman notices her gaze.
The homophobia ever-present, she becomes used to feeling afraid,
for everywhere she turns someone is ready with hate.                                                                
She will push everything down and waltz away.
All leading to a tango with self-expression, love, and dismay.

Trying not to be judged, she lies and hides.
Look at what happened to Oscar Wilde,
We cannot let another nightingale die.                                                                                       
She is an expert at pretending with a smile,
waiting for the world to be better,
dancing through the pain till equality comes in style. 

About the Author: Shriya Roy is a 14-year-old writer from Highland, CA. She is passionate about sharing her stories, thoughts, and ideas. Her work has appeared previously in literary journals Stone Soup, Cholla Needles, Inlandia, and Howl. She cares about people and helping others deeply, so opportunities to entertain or bring a smile to someone’s face, especially through writing, are great.