The Only Girl on the Court

By Audrey Boennighausen

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A Thanksgiving basketball game among brother, dad, uncle, cousin, cousin, cousin, and her—
the only girl on the court.

Society tells her she’s weak. Too sweet.
Maybe she’s pretty good—for a girl.
But a girl more fit for pots and pans than for shots and fans.
Limited to baked goods and walks around the neighborhood,
trapped in a locket,
dresses without pockets—

What century is this?

But all that is just what society wants her to believe.

Because this is a century where women can hold presidential power,
run the tallest towers, be more than just personified flowers.
Forget the overbearing noise of things to avoid,

Because this is a century where a girl can play basketball with a bunch of boys.

Maybe it’s more than just a Thanksgiving pickup game, or maybe it’s not.
Either way, an entire life of sports has prepared her to be in this very spot.
Years spent falling in love with a man’s domain,
And learning the second-class status women’s sports gained.
Even her own journalism class worshipping the football team
while field hockey had actual wins to be seen.

Her whole life she’s been the only girl on the court, and she’s proud to be in that cohort.

But when will it stop being an unconventional thing to sport?