You Look Like A Tomato by Breanna Lowman
I remember the first time I ran a timed mile It was in middle school And I ran like the wind
6 minutes 30 seconds Second in the whole class Hot and sweaty and proud My face beamed with joy
I got to my next class Feeling quite good about myself Until my teacher ruined the moment With a thoughtless comment that changed my life
“You look like a tomato!” My teacher said And the students laughed Along with her
A seemingly innocent comment Interpreted Within my teenage mind To say: Be ashamed You failed Something is wrong with you
So I told myself: Don’t try hard next time Take it down a notch It’s not worth it
Do everything you can To hide the color of red That can't seem to help But bleed through The skin of your cheeks
But no matter how I ran How slow or how fast In the heat or in the cool It didn’t matter My cheeks blushed And a tomato I became Ashamed to look at my reflection
The red of my face Became the face of failure The face of shame The face of defeat
I stopped running.
Not until years and years later While living abroad in China Did I start running again
It was then that I received A beautiful and unexpected gift A redeeming comment That washed away the hurt and shame
I had just gotten back From a long long run And I was red Yes, I looked like a tomato
My friend saw me and said, "Wow your face is amazing! You have such good circulation! My face never changes color!"
A different perspective I had never thought of before Because I was blinded by the shame That the past had contained
But now I proudly claim: I am not ashamed To look like a tomato!
When you see the red in my cheeks I want you to know...
This is the face of success This is the face of pushing through This is the face of hard work This is a face worthy to be seen
Yes, I look like a tomato Thank you for noticing.