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Drop the Ball

March 23, 2015

The poem below was written by Skyland Trail alumni, Audrey R. She won first place in the 25th Anniversary Creative Writing Contest.

Drop the Ball 

Gripping tightly, cramped into rigid rigor mortise.
But you're not dead, you're just

Let that first finger, the attention-seeking one, the accusatory one,
Let it loosen.
Pick it up and lift it
Off the ball of your fear.

Now try that middle finger, the angry one, the cheeky one,
The one that threatens people away.

Now the ring finger, the one that desires,
The one that aches for its match.

The angry one and the desirous one are connected by a tendon.
Let it do the work.
Let them release together.

Then try the little one, the cute one,
The one that strives to be noticed and praised.

Now here's the hardest one, the last one, the smallest one.
When you let your thumb go, the one that stamps judgments,
The ball will drop.

The accusatory one and the angry one and the desirous one and the cute little one
Are trying on this fresh freedom.
They are waving around, blowing in the breeze,
Combing gently through the strands of possibility.

They are calling to your thumb, telling it to wake up and stretch,
How thrilling the ride is,
How it feels to live big.

Let that thumb, that stubborn thumb, let it listen and let it join.
Let your whole, perfectly scarred, hang-nailed, cramped hand let go.
Don't wait for the scars heal, to trim your nails, to oil the winter-dry cracks out.
Don't wait.
Drop the ball.