Third Place Poetry: "Untitled"

by Kathryn Lorenzini '97

I sit on the sofa with Lucile, holding
my poem, the award, trying to be
the writer. I am
eighteen, on the brink of it all. I am
supposed to step out of this moment, once
in a lifetime, leap toward
success. I thrill to the possibility
of her voice, words rocking like boats
blessed on ever flowing water. I am supposed
to step out of this golden room, and do something
with my one life, something important.

And now it is so much later—the craft
captured by pirates, abandoned on an open sea.
The only way to reach her is to row hard;
the years are waves, gathered upon themselves,
a swell.
I ask myself to pick up the oar,
to begin again as we must
every day, despite the dreams that got away,
row back
to this moment so I know what was
inside the vessel. After the audience,

the applause, the prize,
the famous poet, smiling,
I walked into the grey afternoon,
last patches of snow littering the grass,
a hard wind coming across Lake Erie, dark, roiling
no promise of spring. Or

how long it would take to blossom.