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Champion

In front of the mirrors
Where every corner reflects her
face,
My coach is scowling.

I pause on the balcony, watching
From down below, a thousand
words with one expression.
Like a lion stalking its prey.

Young as she is the goals
Of her life have been
accomplished,
Her goals are in us now
I wish her a new goal.

But now it is she who shuts her
eyes,
As if to reject the dancers and their
small figures.
Perfection or greatness, the only
expectation.

The entire studio seems to be
watching,
And she is at it again, eyes blazing
With fire, and the eyes closed
again.

Remember the small girl
who had stage fright trapped in her
own thoughts
Her coaches reminded her: dance
is fun,
And they retreated, not to upset
her.
And how for a small time, the tiny
girl cried.
The rears wet, streaking her
cheeks.

A harmless child
Frightened against the odds,
choking on the food of greatness.
The air was tight as the fear
clogged her throat.
Waiting then, sick and scared
She gathered her wits to go on
stage. And then, how all spirits
Rose, suddenly sure.

Powdering her cheeks,
Leaping a steady graceful course
for gold
And clearing the competition, she
bowed,

Always a winner or loser, my
friend,
As I had forgotten. But we don't
always get what we want.
I hope you feel the pressure, my
friend.





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