Poetry First Place
by Liz Dolan
Under our blue umbrella Sheila and I wiggle
our toes in the sand
and laugh about our days
at Paul Hoffman High
how she red-lined my lesson plans.
Soon she will die suddenly
from blood flooding her brain.
Be ye perfect, she’d always say,
a convert who attended Mass each morning.
Even her script
was Palmer exquisite.
Today we celebrate her birthday,
the Feast of the Transfiguration, she says.
And the anniversary of Hiroshima,
I say. She is radiant
unaware she has ten days left.
All is white, white, white.
Blinded by the razzle of light on water,
by our unlikely friendship
even we seem full of light.
A yellow kayak with two paddlers
in perfect sync floats over white foam tips.
Fat-back porpoises and pig-fish jackknife
as the sun strains not to go down.