So many of us, clamoring,
mitosis gone scarily awry,
all eager to excel, careening
toward podia, wrestling for
trophies, the swing of our medals
raising blue bruises
between our breasts. Trained
to reach high, we are
forever reaching, hands straining
upwards like saplings
from our desks, their hectic rustle
annoying our teachers.
Even in sleep, our arms scrabble
the headboard. But amongst us,
we do not compete. Like hive sisters,
one’s success is that of all,
our grins genuine, each glistening
with royal jelly. We know
others find us insufferable, wishing
to smack us down,
but we are too many. We dance
the joy of our success
to one another, each stomp and circle
pointing to the next.
Our procession to and fro ribbons
our DNA like a gift.
(after Cristina Troufa’s Trophy)
Devon Balwit is a teacher/poet from Portland, OR. She has two chapbooks: how the blessed travel (Maverick Duck Press) & Forms Most Marvelous (forthcoming with dancing girl press). Her work has found many homes, some of which are: The Inflectionist Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Stillwater Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Red Earth Review, Timberline Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry.
*Note: The poem was inspired by Cristina Troufa’s Trophy. You can see Cristina’s art here.