A wasp lights upon the young girl’s tight calf, she jumps and flinches the flesh like a horse pestered by flies, yet clenches perfect power of will, grasping a tarnished trumpet, eyes fixed ahead, no shade, no clouds, and no pain too great for the strong. We dare and tease and taunt one another into a self-discipline that is carried into every sector of our post-graduate lives, yells of ‘you should be there by now!’ as we break ranks and go back to run the sequence one more time, even though the last one was precision embodied. This is how perfect 4’s are earned, not born, not given, sweated out in a dry August field, privileged to be there instead of the beach or the air-conditioned sofa in front of the TV. No weakness, no corps-style sissy world of feeble complaints. Sharp, crisp-edged movements, high-step, grunts, blats, dust-scattering steps and pivots, squads that drill the extra hour for the sheer pride of being called out in front to display, to prove exampled. And the only true pampering comes from a quietly humming stainless steel cooler in the dining lodge that dispenses the coldest glass of milk ever to pass parched lips, replenish thirsting throats.
Dust mingles with sweat
Cakes, clings, struggles to fit in
Searches for found self
© Jilly’s 2016
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