I also wrote this in Creative Writing... anyone who has ever done colorguard/winterguard should be able to relate to it!
By Julie Carter
Lips painted crimson, violet-coated eyelids
and hair pulled tightly into buns,
shields of spray securing every strand.
Awaken our muscles, synchronize breathing, match
even the curve of fingers and tilt of heads,
each of us a duplicate of one.
Listen to the instructor’s gruff voice,
steady and commanding but an underlying urgency
willing us to not spoil the crafted choreography.
Cradle the silk flags, wooden rifles and silver sabers
as we enter the blinding arena lights
blanketing the audience’s faces in shadows.
Shuffle on bare feet, calloused with repetition.
Line the pieces along the floor, waiting
to come alive in spins and flourishes.
Toes locked on starting places across the stretched tarp,
smiles pasted on our faces, inhaling deeply
to steady the tremors in them.
Wait for the judge’s signal to begin,
a split second where everything is silent
but the hammering of our hearts.
Set in motion by the first strains of music,
we propel through the precise routine,
every motion a fluid transition into the next.
Equipment rotates easily, powered by adrenaline
stored just for these five minutes, more important
than anything else we will do today.
Extend every movement of limbs,
heads craned upward so that even those
high in the stands can feel our energy.