Words Take Hold

Day 183 prompt: Athletic
(With this poem, I am halfway through a year of writing one poem a day!)

The Poet as a Kindergartener

People have used
many words
to describe me

Some objective
Short
Freckled
Fair-skinned

Some subjective
Calm
Funny
Creative

Some positive
Smart
Talented
Attractive

Some negative
Aloof
Selfish
Stubborn

Even when these words
Catch me off guard
Usually they ring true

But once

When I was thirty
A figure skating coach
Said this word:

Athletic 

And I looked
All around the rink
To see the sporty skater
He admired

Me? No!
Never in my life …

Surely he knew that
I passed out
Not halfway through
The 600-yard run in sixth grade

And that Miss Vicky
Pulled my braids
In vain attempt to improve
My gymnastic performance

And that I waited
Back to the brick wall
Always the last girl
Added to any gym class team

These memories
Are so large and loud
I barely heard him comment
On my build, strength, agility

But as I laughed
And shook my head
That word took hold
In a tiny, proud place in me

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