Green grass with the saturation turned up. The soccer ball gets kicked so hard my cleat rockets to kiss the blue sky. Vanilla clouds shake and laugh at this amusing folly as I am stuck in between seconds, pondering whether to go after my shoe or keep on playing, unbalanced. I decide on the latter, racing to the ball. The lost cleat has become unimportant as I am adapting, re-conforming to my body. Precise calculations and rhythm enters my brain as I balance myself. My life cleat cuts into the Earth with each movement, my right sock lightly jumps, ready to defend itself. It’s gone from aggressor to supporter, and that’s okay. I can work with this. Suddenly the ball soars up and I run and leap to tap it with my skull. Brains collide. I taste sweat, grass, and dirt all at once. My mind is black and I am lain out, a pulsing throbbing, taking over the real estate in my head. A whistle blows. I’m helped up by and unknown hand as I rub the bruise. It is my teammate, she looks concerned as I stand there, left leg higher than the right. Someone hands me my missing cleat and I impatiently squeeze it back on my foot. I swear up and and down I’m okay, despite the pain and discomfort. I can ice it later. We need to score one more goal to win. I wipe my dirty hands on my shorts and shirt and head over to the sidelines where I’m to throw the ball back in. I focus my ears and eyes as the whistle blows again, starting the clock. I choose to throw it to Christine, the teammate who helped me up. As soon as the ball launches from my hands, I’m back on the field trying to get open. It’s the 2nd half with 20 minutes remaining. We’re all tired, in pain, and thirsty. But we do it because we love it and because we’re good. Rebalanced with both my cleats on, turning down my mind which was previously overcompensating to adapt, I –

Author: Roe

30. she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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