Way of Hand and Foot

 
  Way of Hand and Foot
  By Beau Heese, grade 7, Missouri.
  
 The judges call my name, and I walk to the ring.
 As I stretch, kicking the open air in front of me,
 I look at my opponents,
 and I analyze their technique. Some are flexible, strong,
 or quick, but we all have one constant—we have trained
 for years. The judges call my name, and I step forward.
  
 I nervously step into the square ring, and they call in
 who I will be sparring.
 As I see my opponent, my nerves... leave.
 Why now, right before the match?
 As I meet the eyes of the person across from me,
 I see a child, a student, me. We are equals.
  
 We bow, always keeping eye contact.
 And when the judges say go, we begin.
 But it is not a disorganized fight. It is a dance,
 a tango, of sorts.
  
 As we shift around the red mot,
 striking, kicking, blocking, I forget
 about the world outside.
 The judges, the scorekeepers,
 the other competitors, all melt away.
  
 I enter into a new world, a world born out of our dance,
 a world in which we are the only two beings,
 and where our fight is the only truth.
 A new reality.
  
 Suddenly, a buzzer sounds,
 and I am pulled away as quickly as I arrived.
 The match is over. But I am not satisfied.
 And when I return to my seat, all I can think about is
 my next trip to this strange new world.
  
 By Beau Heese, grade 8, Missouri. Beau adds, "While writing this piece, I realized how everyone can see the 
world so differently, especially in their teenage years. I hope the poem will show them that everyone has their 
own blessings and problems. Perhaps, it will help others accept different views better."

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