A Place to Wrestle

Anybody got a mat?

What do ya mean what for?

To wrestle on, of course!

Yeah girls wrestle.

Are you kidding me? I have seen plenty:

The soft yellow State Championship mats,

The dark, imposing Masters Championship mats,

The mismatched quilt of mats at tournaments,

And the high school mats that feel just like home.

 

But it wasn't all fun and games,

oh no.

Teammates initially scoffed at my small size,

Referees raised eyebrows at my gender,

Opponents underestimated my willpower.

Opposing coaches refused to shake my hand.

My school's coaches were reluctant to invest in me.

My parents shook their heads at their daughter

who could not accept she was no athlete,

particularly in the very physical sport of wrestling.

 

It took a young, tough coach to turn me around.

My first season had been straight losses.
My second sesaon yielded the best record on the team.

But numbers mean nothing. The mat became home.

I wanted other girls to feel the way I did.

I drove the formation of the school's first

female wrestling team. In the midst of our impoverished,

polluted city we had found 

             A haven.

 

On those mats,

Neglected

Introverted

Downtrodden

Isolated

Girls

Discovered they could also be

Courageous,

Triumphant,

 Champions.

 

Soon, I will see

What a college mat feels like.

But until then,

Do you have a wrestling mat?

I don’t care if there are

Scuffed edges

Dull faded spots

Or a plethora of unexplainable rips and tears.

I need a mat.

Call me materialistic

But I can’t live without one.

 

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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