//friday the 13th
BRONZE HON. MENTION JUNE 23, 1997
My neighor went mad one day in her white lace negligee.
I was cutting roses for my new Swedish crystal vase.
She ran outside in her negligee, with a wild-eyed look.
My roses glowed: a rose-tinged white, cloud pink, and dark crimson.
She screamed she’d dreamed that she would die on Friday the thirteenth.
If I pricked my thumb, would a good man come or would I sleep?
Later, on her front porch, she hunched in an old torn blanket.
A man I’d known in school walked by just then. He joked. I laughed.
When her husband came home from work, he called an ambulance.
I jogged with my old friend, gave him some of my garden peas.
Later that week her husband called, said she would not survive.
I asked my friend for dinner. My crystal vase held roses.
She died a week to the day, on a Friday, the thirteenth.
My old school friend laid a comforting hand on my shoulder.
What I took for granted was gone in the tick of a clock.
A tide of such sweetness rose in me, breathless at his touch.