sweaty palms deep breaths and tense muscles
long-sleeved jerseys sports bras and spandex
crew socks ankle braces and black and silver shoes
and kneepads always kneepads
never forget your kneepads.
“volleyball is just a sport”
tell that to the girl who is crying
your teammate who has sprained her ankle
and is out for the season, her senior season
no, it’s much more than that to me.
beautiful bruises, based on a true story
floor burns paraded like skin-scraped sculptures
proof of dedication, a badge of pride
my bloody nose isn’t a sign of weakness
it’s a sign of perseverance.
nine years of my life I’ll never get back
and thank God for that
my teammates are my sisters
my memories of seasons past have turned to gold
and my nostalgia for the good old days burns black.