2019 Poetry Contest First Place Winner

Expect Sadness like Rain
by Alyssa Konopaski

If you need to prepare, pack the umbrella your friend left to you when she went home to Japan. Wear a yellow raincoat to contrast the grey skies and the clouds that bury you. Remind yourself to stash an extra pair of socks just in case you underestimate a puddle and find your toes soaked and your heart aching. You will make it out alive and wet.

If you prefer it finds you unexpectedly, let it search. It missed you. Enjoy the way it drips down your forehead and tickles your brow. Embrace the way your hair frizzes and curls. Your damp jeans will stick awkwardly to your skin as you walk; no one is watching even if you feel their eyes upon you. Waterproof makeup was never your thing, so check the mirror afterward if you must. You will make it out alive and wet.