I tugged at my bright ruffled skirt ready for the next danza in baile folklórico and had to stare Sebastian Galindo in the eyes, after he yanked on my trenza and called me a “no-daddy.”
It is true that Sebastian Galindo squinted his eyes like a dirty dish towel and stuck out his arm in disgust in hopes that I would not grab hold. I rubbed my palm against itself as if preparing to pitch a baseball.
My hot, sweaty, sticky hand grabbed hold of Sebastian’s and he released the squint in his eyes. He rearranged his expression like a surprise birthday party and belted out, “Ewwwww.” I clenched my teeth and smiled, before forming an ant mound out of my lips. I dared him to come close.
“Por malo!” For being mean, I retorted.
I refused to cry over a gross boy who I didn’t want to dance with anyway.
It was not the last time I was rejected.
Boldness was for others. Boldness was for those who could look Sebastian Galindo in the eyes and tell him, “My Father is in heaven.” What I didn’t know was that boldness was the little girl who danced courageously on the wooden floors of the Teresa Champión dance studio.
It was in each stomp of her Spanish shoes as they crashed into the floor with a pom pom and in each undulating dress twirl as the dress stretched high in Yucatan and indigenous colors, blinding the onlooker with beauty. Boldness was the little girl who did not shed one tear when the other girls danced with their young daddies and she sat that one out.
When you ask me about bravery, I think back to that little girl and I’m wildly proud of her courage in the face of rejection. I’m proud that when she was told her daddy would never come home from the military, she danced anyway.
Friend, this is Day 19 of a series of posts for the month of October. I’m joining Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Friday for the yearly Write 31 Days challenge. My topic is “Finding Hope in Unmet Expectations” because that’s what my book is about as well. On Fridays, I will write you a poem. Each day has a different word prompt. I hope you enjoy.
Today’s word prompt is BRAVE.