First Place Poetry: "Elegy for the Perseids, To Bill"

by Gina Evers '05

I offer my weight again to the old pine —
the soles of my feet remember us here,

where the lake sand rubs out the years
like calluses. My naked feet understand

I was young
the summer after your mother died.

It was August, hair heavy against my neck.
Every fragment stuck to our sweating bodies

as we stirred up a life of Nancy Drew,
wedding china and photographs of you as a child

with your brothers and sisters in front of the house.
We sorted it all into boxes. In the evenings

when the heat — the quiet — pinned us to our bed,
we moved in darkness down to the water

knowing every tree root, each break
in the ground.

We threw our pajamas onto the dock and swam naked
milfoil twining around our legs begging deeper. We ran

back up to the empty house and fell
into lovemaking on one of the twin beds

that still remain in the room where children sleep —
where our grandchildren are dreaming now. And I

sit here alone
with my toes pressed hard onto the dock.

The cracks of heat lightning push
giant black-pink clouds
closer over the mountain.