Martial Arts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

My racquet sits alone
at the service line
awaitingmy arrival,
waiting for me to play.

My legs feel like Jell-O,
Icannot stop the wobbling
that I feel.

I was warned,
"You mustwin today,
it is up to you."

The words stick in my head
andwill not leave.
They will not stop.

I see my partner enter thecourt,
she looks nervous,
like me.

The other team,
are theylittle girls like me?
They look more like
big, strong andpowerful.

How will I match their abilities?
They probably couldbeat
Lindsay Davenport,
my favorite player.

Entering the court,
Ipick up my racquet
and hold my hand steady
as I get into the readyposition.

I see the giant on the other side
throw the ball in theair
her racquet aims for the ball
as if in slow motion.

I hear asound
come from the giant
on the other side
she makes a sound
likethey do in the U.S. Open
where I was just a cheering fan.

Running up, Ihit the ball
right into the net.

"Fifteen-Love," the giantshouts.
I see the disappointment
in the faces of my teammates,
mycoaches and my partner.

"Focus, focus!"
my coachshouts.
"Keep your eye on
the ball."

I will do justthat.
And I will win.
I have to.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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