Only Voice He Could Hear
11/15/17 (Buenos Aires and in flight to Ushuaia)
When I was ten, I was the Queen
of Hawaii in a school play. Other students
in my court kneeled around me, then dancers
entertained us, all while I sat at my throne.
I took advanced classes, was even a “Tough Ten”
speller; could spell the longest word
in the English dictionary, pneumomoultra-
microscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. At this point,
I thought I could do anything... So I
learned a little French, but I don’t know,
I must have missed my petit déjeuner
because I was feeling a bit peckish
and wanted something more. I joined choir,
even sang at my graduation ceremony
with classmates before I went to high school.
Because even at the ripe old age of thirteen
I wanted to live by those words
in the song we sung: Climb every mountain,
forge every stream, follow every
rainbow, ‘til you find your dream...
‘Til you find your dream.
Before the final graduation ceremony
an older man in a suit emblazoned
with medals and ribbons from the
American Legion came to the stage
to award one student in the entire school
with the American Legion Award —
which seemed like the highest honor
anyone could ever achieve. And when
they said my first name, I wondered,
there’s another student in this school
with my first name, how did they win?
Because I couldn’t believe it when they
said my last name, and I walked
on to the stage to get my medal
from what I was sure was the nicest
man I had ever met in my entire life.
Once graduation ended and I saw
my family, my father said to me
that during the choir performance,
I was the only voice he could hear.