Dangerous Winner This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

October 21, 2009
I was seven when I slipped on my first pair of ice skates.
Big, clunky, plastic, annoying.


The danger drew me in.
My father leaned closer as he tightened the knot
Be careful, he says
A thrilled grin creeping mysteriously upon his mouth
These are sharp.
The ice is hard
It will hurt if you fall.

It does.
Suddenly I’m on the cold surface
My rosy cheek plastered against
Frozen H2O, scratching my young skin.
From far away, a laugh

The laugh makes me go on
I would have given up
A dumb sport, I think
But the laugh
The laugh

Don’t be a quitter
His voice resounds
Six years later I heard it
In my coach’s eyes
It was there
Don’t be a quitter

In my competitor’s eyes,
The challenge
The underestimation
The losing.

The winning.

I hated competitions
They were full of vain girls
Who liked to show off
Hockey is better

I am too small
I would get hurt

So I never play

I have one coach who really saw me
The others only looked at me
She saw me

You are good, she explained
Gesturing wildly, hands flying
She is planning
Compete, the coach entices
Win with me


I walk away
I am a quitter

I can make no excuses, my father says
You decided
You chose

So now I just watch on TV
The girl I could’ve been
They wanted me to be her

With the ribbons in her hair
Thick makeup in her eyes and on her lips
Focused, competitive
A well oiled machine

My hands instinctively tighten when I see a popped jump
A too-tight spin
A loose spin
Sloppy footwork
A shame, they muse

I admire her
The almost-me
She is brave
Unafraid to fall
to fail

She will get up,
There is no question

She cannot lose

She is dangerous

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Soft_spoken said...
Dec. 11, 2009 at 2:12 pm
this was so wonderful
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