Fear poem

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The little girl stands up on the mat facing the beam
She places her tiny hands on the rough
Sandpaper like surface and takes a breath
After that, everything is a rush
She mounts, straddling to a handstand
The pressure placed on her petite hands
All the blood rushes to her head
And her face turns a shade of crimson
As she silently stands on the beam
A look of relief crosses her face
Until she realizes what is next
Every practice she nails her series, not a wobble out of place
But at meets something changes and she always loses her concentration
This time, the little girl knows if she makes it she will have a spot on the Olympic team
And if she falls, it will be like every other meet
And end in tears and a broken heart
And yet another one of her dreams is crushed
She is capable of perfection
Every person in the stands is aware that gold is easily in her reach
She is the only one unsure of her own ability
The only one who does not believe in herself
Every dance pose loses rhythm as she gets closer to her series
Beads of sweat trickle down the sides of her face
She steps up and prepares for her back handspring layout
The little girl takes a deep breath
And mouths one word to herself
Believe
She goes for her first back handspring and continues on to the layout
The whole stadium is hushed, praying she sticks it
She puts one foot on straight
Mentally, physically, every part of her body knows how to do it right
Her second foot comes onto the beam
As solid as the first
And she thrusts her arms up into a big salute with a grin extended across her face
The audience goes wild, screaming and cheering for her
She finishes with a stuck dismount and a spot on the Olympic team
At that precise moment, the little girl wakes up
She yawns, and tries to recall what happened in her dream
The stuck series, a perfect beam routine, and a place on the Olympic team
She takes a deep breath and prepares herself for her own meet today
Knowing that she is not the girl in her dream, but a coward who cannot face her fear
And stick her series in a competition





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