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Ella's thigh was trembling. She stood on her left foot, heal of the right foot raised. Her right arm wrapped under the right thigh, while her left hand twisted itself around her curved back to grasp the fingers of the right. Her left hand felt as if it were grasping for dear life onto a body dangling over the edge of a building. Sweat rolled down her hair line to the ridge of her nose, a human mini river of effort. Her exhale became long and hard until she heard the teacher's voice as if from another space and time. “Inhale..go into you. Center and calm through the breath.” She looked up slightly, off to the distant sky. A bird glided past both teasing and inspiring her with it's freedom. She smiled as if she had just heard an ironic story. Pressing deeply into the earth with her left foot, she lifted her chest upward and the right leg that she carried seem to move higher with her. Her body wobbled for a moment and her feet and heart recalled learning to walk. Hold on, hold on. Yet she was up, awkward but up. Happiness tilted her cheekbones towards her eyes. Beside her a tanned woman seemed to pass her in height, hold her leg higher so the brown toes just entered her field of vision. Ella's breathing paused and time froze for a moment of jealousy. Her body called her back as she began to loose balance. “Shhhh. Stay with me. Stay here. Lets play” Ella felt her heart beat, the sweat, her shoulders being pulled back trying to expose her heart and lifted for just one more breath. Shaking yet holding on, she lowered her leg and unwound the arms and folded her body down onto her mat. Her body in fetal, her forehead on the mat. A sigh of satisfaction slipped out of her mouth. Ella felt like Ella.

©Lucy Hamel


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