In the middle of an English lecture in 6th grade,
there was an announcement
To wait for the gymnastics selections after school
“for those who were interested.”
Holding my overconfidence
like a throbbing blob of muscle in my hands,
I did manage some trippy summersaults
Let’s just say Thank God! I was wearing slacks that day!
I came back sulking, “What do we even do gymnastics for?”
About a decade later,
Now when I listen to myself, pick on the uncertain cues of life
I imagine myself galloping the craziest hurdles,
Called self-doubt and fear.
Be it rainy, misty, cloudy or clear
They just manage to appear…
Throw in some waltz and romantic flair,
And I’ll be doing summersaults in the air.
But you know what?
Outwards I walk straight…
Like the good girl I am supposed to be,
Shushing the exult and the cries
I talk slowly, with lovely obedient smiles.
But when I am alone
I spend time digging the deepest pit
Inside of me
where no judgement can pretend to catch me
when I fall, and say:
“Honey, I am just looking out for you”
Where I can ropewalk, and also
keep those fearless victories within
For why not?
Don’t we all pretend and show:
that we are just playing hopscotch
While within we might be walking on a bed of nails?
Don’t we all pretend to smile and sing
Even when our insides might be pounding with screams?
Don’t we gift wrap our demons,
As angels with stockings and wings?
Don’t we pretend, with cute puppy eyes that we care,
While within we might be numb with despair?
“What do we even pretend for?”
Gymnastics wasn’t my cup of tea,
But it sure taught me to take a deep breath
And embrace the adventure within
Take demons for demons
And angels for angels
In a fortress
In a place