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After My Mother’s Wedding


Runner-Up for the 2012 Adroit Prize for Poetry
Judge: Chloe Honum

On the rusted back patio chairs we drank
late into the evening, my brother and I; drank
a cheap California red with a twist top,
and talked about a woman we had seen outside
the café that morning, a brunette in a bright
yellow pea coat and bright red shoes–bright
as a handful of flowers along a highway.
We could not believe how beautiful she was,
this woman, on that bike of hers. The motion
of her knees rolling below the hem of her dress
looked something like driftwood in a wave.
I mentioned this before taking another drink
and leaning back in my chair, toward
the young orange tree (a wedding gift
from my brother) in the large orange pot
beside the table. Its branches, untouched
by wind, hovered darkly in the air, like fingers
grown apart from a hand. Then I stood up
and staggered through the yard, under
a shower of stars, to the old trampoline,
climbing over its metal railing, and sinking
into its weather-worn skin so I could see
the neighboring houses.

Nicholas Pierce was born in Bakersfield, California, and is currently a senior at Texas Tech University, where he studies creative writing and edits the school’s literary magazine, Harbinger. He has one previous publication, in the summer 2011 issue of Spillway.