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6 am Practice
by Samantha Brecht
posted on March 1, 2011


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The secret sparkly calm
Of early morning
Lets me breathe.

I am a black entity
with blazing headlights
Prepared. Ahead. Ready.
Time is asleep and the clock stops.

With the pulsing bass of car speakers,
My hummingbird heart settles, And,
Beats in earnest
for the first time in too long.

Though the world sleeps
We are up
In the esculent purple hours
That feel like cotton jersey
And smell like bread baking.

In house, my friends are there
Like so many sleeping bears,
Warm, hiding from spring in a pile,
in black hoodie sweatshirts.
Others perch on the bench
like cold birds, tall and skinny,
rigid on a wire.

Let’s go.
We shoulder the gunnels
And walk through the cold
Dark, as sea foam mists
Coil around the dock
And downstream.

Open to the blackness
Head in the boat.
Gliding away followed by
Moons of twin heavens:
Above
And below,
The world through the looking glass.
Ready all, row.

Warm up, spin and wait,
And the sun is rising
Tangerine, slowly flooding the sky.

To work. Breathe the mist. Go.
SOS and to the bottom,
Inappropriate jokes and laughter
Warm us like sunbeams;
We take off long sleeves.

Time for business,
All eight.
Ready all.
Row.

Build in three and go,
We go. We’re on it.
We chase it, we flaunt it,
We show them.

Recover, get water, again.
You’re athletes, jump on it.
You know it, you got it, now show it,
Good. Last 10.
Good, and again.

We’re tired. We’re hot. We’re splashed.
We’re not sure how much more to go,
But we no what we are not.

I don’t care what they’re taking,
What excuses they’re making
And what praise we are getting or not.

We do not give up or walk away
Because this is the day
That we’ve got.
Have to, have to.
‘cause to not is no option.

Not us. That does not define us.
We’re it,
and those that malign us
Are not.

Confidence, believe it.
Trust it and feel it.
Let go of your tension
And reach for greatness.

The first ten are good,
Ease, flow, hook, reach.
Jump, race the legs.
We’re sharp, we’re walking back.

We’re in the middle and its hard.
Have to lead
For the leader and everyone else.
Head down, chin up, and go.

We walk, now.
Lights Out!
Lights Out!
We shock the World.
We have open.
Finish it. Last 10.

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