Tomorrow I march with my team into battle.
It’s hard to summarize the experience of a full day of competition (I spent thirty minutes trying to explain it to two team mates the other day starting with the moment you wake before dawn and with numb fingers put on your suit to the moment the trial begins) but in past I have tried to pin it down with poetical prose. The closest I ever got was this piece, where I played with a sonnet-like-sense of meter and tried to sprinkle some truth (like the part about hardly being able to reach the floor even with high heels ha) along with metaphors, similes, and slightly exaggerated images, that some how are (hopefully) a good picture of what it can be like. It’s not encompassing, but it gives a small sliver of a photo of those five seconds right before the round is called to order.
I share it honor of tomorrow (and as comic relief for all those tingling nerves. 😉 )
Soli Deo Gloria, my friends!
We are sitting in a cold wooden coffin;
A stiff suffocating box of dark foreboding panels
on which the paintings of old men
stare calmly down, pale faces, thinned hair,
a flag or state seal behind them.
I wonder if they ever used this chair.
It’s too bulky, too squeaky, and too tall
for me. I can barely reach the worn carpet floor,
even wearing high heels. The bailiff calls
and the judge strides through his personal door.
“All rise, all rise.” We all leap to our feet,
and my chair goes flying into my witness’s knees
While the opposing team rise from their seats,
I can only hope they’re more frightened than me.
The judge is watching us like a hawk
Down his endless beak, eyeing his prey from
his cushioned perch. There’s no noise – no talk –
no breath – and in the silence, I could swear
I heard him lick his lips and sniff.
We are even lined up at attention
for his convenience – all frozen stiff and
Ready for plucking if that be his inclination.
He scribbles some notes and raises his brow
They pump above his gleaming eyes,
as if breathing into a pair of forges now
Heating up to melt the next project that comes by.
He strokes his slick and shiny black feather coat
that glimmers even in the dusky yellow glare
Of the lights buzzing and pulsing overhead,
Like the fear that burns and bubbles in our throat.
Then the moment has passed… how shall he tred?
Our hunter stalks to his chair, takes up his gavel – the appointed bait –
Clears his throat and calls the first one to the dinner plate.