Smile


There, sitting outside the door of room 173,
Fluorescent lights slanting upon rough carpet.
A hum can be heard of students milling about,
Anxiously waiting.
My music flutters about me as I try
To look over the indecipherable black dots just once more.
She steps into the room,
Wearing her confidence like a well-worn sweater
As I shiver in my thin dress and tense expression.
A thrum of adrenaline jolts through my veins.
I am sure that everyone can hear my heart just as well
As they can hear my silent keen of anticipation.
An unfamiliar sound beats through the door upon my ears,
Her flute's flawless falsetto.
The paralyzing swells of sound perfectly pitched,
Sitting upon my chest, as intimidation
Snatches the color from my cheeks and the warmth from the air.
Clammy hands clasp cold metal,
And my flute, usually such a comfort,
Feels as heavy as my own inferiority.
Shaking fingers smooth out invisible flaws in my skirt
Before I gaze, in the sudden silence, at the harsh black numbers
Emblazoned above the door.
Suddenly I hear a delicate whisper and
I turn, blinded by the beauty of an encouraging smile
And I can breathe again.

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