Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Great Gabby

Pixie face, sweet sixteen,
fuchsia leotard, sparkles and sheen,
lithe physique, milk chocolate skin,
and the widest, toothiest grin.

Olga Korbut-like joy: a twirl,
a magnificent and elegant whirl
then a powerful tumble,
yet she remains ever so humble.

She lived with a white family
and was homeschooled, you see,
while training with Coach Chow
in West Des Moines, Iowa, and how!

Sent away by her mother,
older sisters, and one brother
living in Virginia Beach,
she brought a goal within reach

to become an Olympian --
a history-making gymnastics champion.
Her dad left home when she was nine,
causing family finances to no longer be fine.

Thus, sacrifices became key.
Still, her mother needed to file for bankruptcy.
But the world now knows the happy
girl, Gabrielle Douglas, as simply "Gabby" --

a member of the winning women's team
and the gold medalist in the all-around: beam,
vault, bars, and floor ex combined. Criticized hair?
That just lays the media's racism bare.

Like our president,
she has set a thrilling precedent
as an African-American hero --
a young yet accomplished leader to show

that anything a person dreams can be done
with much hard work, perseverance, and fun.
She will be America's role model for many a girl.
Here's to you, Great Gabby, "The Flying Squirrel!"

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