April 5, 2008
By Alia Safa, Dearborn, MI

You can hate me if you want to.
You can stare at me too.
You can try to make me nervous.
I really couldn’t care.

All I care about is not giving up.
You can stare at me even though we are the same.
We both have our friends and family,
We both have won and lost.
So what makes me so different?
Why do you stare?

Is it really because my hair is not shown?
My arms and legs covered?
Because I follow a different religion?
You stare as if I’m not human.
And don’t bother to think I am.
I have arms and hands,
Legs and feet just like you.
We both use them the same,
Doing a routine to music.
If you looked at it that way
Maybe you would only stare a little,
Or not even at all.

So when I take my place on newly cut ice
I pray to be strong,
To handle your stares.
Your stares keep me going,
Making my heart pound faster.
I can prove to those stares,
There is no need to stare,
But just to watch.
So I take a deep breath,
Wait for my music,
Look at you and smile.

I start my program,
Skating to the music.
My foot landing like it should
Gliding smoothly after every move.
I go faster and faster,
Feeling the wind on my face,
The adrenaline catching up with me.
And within an instant, a blink,
It’s gone and done.

It was clean and perfect,
My smile as wide as can be,
Wondering if I have a chance,
If the stares will give me a chance.
Figures complimenting me,
All a blur to me as I waited to know.

The results came,
And with just a glimpse,
I had won.
They had given me a chance,
They had shown me I could do it.
I looked at the judge’s stare,
Looking at me with my joy,
This time her stare wasn’t uncomfortable,
It was just a stare.

Maybe a stare of wonder,
Or a stare of goodness,
I’ll never know.
But I had won and proved myself.
You can stare all you want now,
I have the gold around my neck.
I’m proud and not afraid of you.
I can win and so can you,
You can lose and so can I.
So stare at me if you want to,
I’ll just stare right back at you.

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