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Athlete

“Offer service to others, as a means of feeling worthwhile.
  While you’re in a serving relationship, your judgments tend to be on hold.
  You will focus on how you can help.”
    ~ Cathy Holt, The Circle of Healing (2000)

She’s strong
Torch long upheld
Bearing light eternal
High out of reach
Presuming to welcome the world
Yet standing alone monumental untouchable unattainable
Forever aloof

No wonder
That in this country
The school intercom daily announces
The achievements of young women
In athletic competition
To the eternal neglect
Of poetry software music art love

I did my due diligence to honor
A young woman so regularly recognized
Out of striking synchronicity
She was writing a report on the work of Lillian Hellman
I’d written a paper like that the prior year
I offered her a look

Her adequate response to sharing
Was to walk away fast
And much later leave me a note saying
“I wrote it myself”
As though she expected only wholesale plagiarism on her part
Could’ve been my purpose

I’d made a research effort
Presented my offbeat thoughts about a life
Whence teamwork among athletes
Could have appreciated those sources
Selected any chosen life events
Reached any alternate or related conclusions
Or even just said thanks

How sexless this Puritanical monument
Unwilling to accept all help
Out of wordless implication
That a man’s role is other than burdensome
Her strength leaving room for but one role
The recipient not the source

How spineless this creation of feminism
Might as well fear to make his move
For what purpose but reinforcement
Of what an upset
Athleticism inspiring but one response
The yin not the yang

How pointless the ennoblement of women
Through portrayals of male vacillation
Leading to Toys in the Attic endings
Better to stand alone hard cold condescending
A praised athlete offering but an abstraction
For who could blame share heal soften love

Thanks always returns

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