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Coxswain

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The End
It feels like the end
My mind is racing
But our boat hasn’t even crossed the starting line
I can see the faces of my girls, my athletes
The boat is a feather on the water
I am shouting myself hoarse
And the race hasn’t even begun
I hear the shout, and my girls, my athletes
Are in excruciating pain
Their faces twisted in agony
And I’m sitting there, telling them to take it
And make it worse
Get past the wall, I shout
Break it down
You are stronger, I say, stronger
Don’t lock yourself in a tower
Let down your hair and see the world
Let the world see you
And your potential
Let them see it all – don’t hold anything back
This is your only chance, so let it all out
This is the race
It isn’t a practice
This is life
You’re halfway there!
Noise is coming from my mouth and it’s an automatic response
Like the prayers that my mind is mouthing
That no one can hear
Let my girls win
Let my girls win
I’ve seen the blood
The sweat
The tears
All of it
They deserve this
Let my girls win
POWER TEN! I proclaim, and there is a gasp
At practice it would be a cheer
But now, they can’t speak.
I have told them to give everything
Even their voices
And they have
My stroke seat is rushing
Good ratio, I tell her
Let the aggression turn on, like a light
On the drive
3:1
I repeat
3:1
Let my girls win
Splash
ONE SPLASH!
I remind them
ONE SPLASH!
I want to hear all the blades entering the water at the same time
SPLASH!
SPLASH!
SPLASH!
That’s what I want to hear
I’m so out of breath
My throat is a barren desert
No moisture
Even my mind can’t speak
They have given their voices
And I have too
But I push on
That’s my job
I’m the coxswain
And now we’re here
Nearing the finish line
The flimsy flags fluttering in the wind
SPLASH!
The blades sing
SPLASH!
I’m calling out catches
CATCH!
And
CATCH!
And
CATCH!
My girls are falling
No!
Keep it together
Give it everything!
You’re almost there
Let my girls win
Please
Let my girls win
Let my girls win
CATCH!
And
SPLASH!
Let my girls win!
GIVE
IT
EVERYTHING -
SPLASH!
And
It’s
Over -
The
Race
Is
Won
My girls have won
My girls have won
We
Have
Won
But the race hasn’t even begun
For in my life, this is only
The Beginning




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