I'm on the record as a poetry hater; truthfully, I have no idea why I tend to write so much of it, except for my latent masochistic urges. This one was inspired by recollections of my single year on the middle-school basketball team, the drills my gym teacher (affectionately nicknamed 'Gym Nazi') puts us through at 8:30 every morning, and, most strongly, the smell of the empty girls' locker room. (When full, it smells of too-strong perfume and various body fluids.) Some of the spacing got messed up in the HTML formatting...it's not that important to bother with putting in.

Just so that everyone knows, 'original' is not part of the story title. I'm just titling all of my fics with their category to organize them better. ^_^;

Operation: Obliteration
by Rb

An empty locker room
is the same as
a field on which
a battle was fought

The troops, gearing up
changing into their
shorts and t-shirts
khaki uniforms
the jerseys
the weapons
talking of inconsequential things
as if what they do
is nothing extraordinary
but mere everyday matters

The coach plans their battles
as a general would
dictating the soldiers' motions
in well-rehearsed formations
"Operation: Obliteration."

The buzzer sounds
A gunshot screams
shattering the expectant air
And then --
action erupts
in a practiced frenzy.
Move. Go.
Shoot.

There is no way but conflict
to get better, to be strong.
The bone-breaking workouts
The impossible manuevers
all for slaughtering the enemy.

And when the game is won,
the winners retreat to celebrate
feeling oddly empty inside
but the losers, if any remain
regroup silently, weeping quietly
planning counter-attacks as
they peel off sweat-soaked clothing.

They all shower and leave
yet, the locker room is still
filled with the ghosts
of victory and defeat
and the thick, metallic
scent of blood.