The Growing Flower

A natural-born leader

A teacher,

A mentor,

An instructor,

Someone to count on.

I have been called these things since I was young

Teaching my younger brother

Spelling,

Piano,

Simple math.

I became a leader of the band.

Drum major:

A position I had idolized since freshman year.

Band was my home.

Band was my sanctuary.

My director believed in me when no one else would.

My leading instinct soared with my new position.

Then it came crashing down

Like an eagle

Suddenly shot by poachers.

I faced criticism unlike any I had ever known.

"We don't want you."

"Fall off that podium."

"This band is nothing thanks to you."

"I won't listen to you. You're a girl drum major."

They made shirts

Criticizing

My fellow drum major and me.

Even my "friends."

The principal became involved.

He sided with my bullies.

"They need to learn to suck it up."

I had never felt so

Alone,

Abandoned,

Defeated.

My family was caught up in other things.

I went home after each practice.

Outside, I cried.

Inside, I died.

My leadership waned.

They don't want me.

Why do I bother?

They won't learn regardless.

What does it matter?

One girl

Clearly overreacting.

She doesn't matter.

What does she have to prove?

And yet,

From my scrutiny,

I grew.

I have never been stronger.

I grew patience,

Compassion,

Understanding,

Confidence.

Truly I know

That although flowers need sunshine to grow,

It is the rain that makes them blossom.

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