The Fencer: a poem

This is a poem I felt inspired to write after many life events in the past few months: participating in the Women’s March in Austin, practicing at my club, giving lessons to my fencers, watching the current political circus unfold, and learning that Ibtihaj Mohammad–our New Jersey born Olympic Bronze Medalist–was retained for two hours by Customs simply because she wears an outward symbol of her Muslim faith.

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The Fencer

Steel mesh

Cool cotton

A fire burns inside.

 

She steps to the line.

Confident.

Ready.

 

The referee’s words

Like the bullet of a starting gun.

 

En garde.

Prêtes?

Allez!

 

She leaves the safety of the resting place

Sure-footed and

Poised.

 

Pressing the attack,

She misses.

 

Once.

And again.

 

Now time to defend.

 

Defend her Rights.

Defend her Country.

Defend her Family.

Defend her Beliefs.

 

Her opponent charges forward

Dares her to challenge.

 

Blades slashing,

The feint is met with a confident take.

 

She attacks again

Softly.

So softly it seems like a

Kiss

Upon her opponent’s lamé.

 

She removes her mask,

The final touch scored.

The difficult battle won.

 

Victorious.

 

Humbly shaking the hand of the vanquished,

Saluting the referee,

She vows to

Fight

Another Day.

 

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