creating patches of light in the shadows on the track.
My orange and black polyester marks me.
I am running,
past the other uniformed girls in their school colors.
Their legs are longer, strides seem double mine
but I am quick,
quick to overtake them,
one spiked foot in front of the other.
must be faster,
my heart is sucking every bit of oxygen
my lungs can procure.
Racing them, racing myself, what is the difference?
It's never about them. It's doing it because
I can do it,
because I want it.
I want to beat myself.
I want to feel my body ripping through the flimsy ribbon,
hear the cheers of my teammates and coach,
feel the congratulatory pats on the back,
the knowing I gave it my all and it showed.
It showed I am a winner.
What is that anyways?
Something I can do better than the next?
I judge it but I still want that medal.
The medal of achievement, good grades, love, success, righteousness, abundance...
I don't need a medal but somewhere I am still searching for it.
Maybe it's in my wide drawer under all the stacked papers,
mixed with the pens and pencils with erasers that don't work anymore, or
it's still on the track field,
dangling in front of my nose like a carrot as the wind whips past my prepubescent body,
forever striving for the unattainable,
for a race that can never be won.
It's already won
I just don't know it.