Observation At A State Competition
Poem By Bill Grace
If I had the courage to be arrested
Perhaps I could have intervened
The pre-pubescent child,
The pock marked skin of the grandmother,
The hair of the grandmother pulled tight in a bun,
The medals of the child
The bright red, white and blue fabric
holding a fleet of heavy medals around her neck,
Stained by tears of guilt or rejection -
She - the child - had not taken first in all places.
Shamed by the powerful grandmother
Shame she was not first in everything
Shame ten years of therapy would not lift.
I ache for that child and a society
Where only the top rung of the champions platform counts
Ultimately life will prove
We are all champions
When the grandmother is dead
When these words are no longer read
When life is seen as a process and not a point.