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I sit mute
Eager to please
Hands folded on my lap
Fingers clenched and sweaty
Surely the first of many to come
I dress in a nice blouse and jeans
And can’t help noticing the deep rip on my padded chair
As I sit down.
The two conductors sit like crows
Eyeing me carefully
Elastic faces in a bright, preppy smile
They read from their predetermined question sheet
And I answer.
Back and forth like a ping-pong game
Our sound waves the white pockmarked ball as it grapples for an ear.
Who is your role model?
I pause, off guard.
Never had I thought of having one.
With all due respect
Could be so fulfilled and perfect and inspirational
That I would follow directly in their footsteps,
Stepping carefully into the sole prints they created on the soil
Poring over their inspirational quotes to guide me?
For I’m sure that Einstein picked his nose
And that Emily Dickinson had a mean temper
And that Shakespeare had an attitude.
I prattle off a cliché and smile.