Eleven Ways To Hold An Umbrella

One.
Handle it eagerly
at the store.
Admire the patterns,
and the button
you’ll press to open it up.
Test it out
secretly
before buying it.
Don’t even glance
at the price.

Two.
Hold it
as you’d hold
any other umbrella.

Three.
Open it up
and listen to
the raindrops
bursting
upon impact,
like little fireworks.
Realize
that although you
are holding it the
same way,
you are holding it
differently.

Four.
Use it enough times
until the handle
has reshaped itself
to fit your palm.
Or maybe it’s you
who has adjusted
to meet its
needs.

Five.
Position it merrily
resting on your shoulder,
so that it is slightly behind your head.
Laugh freely
in the midst
of a thunderstorm.

Six.
Caress it.
Gently wipe raindrops away.
Try to understand
what it is like
to carry such a burden
of water.

Seven.
Use it as a shield.
Hold it out
in front of you,
warily,
and block
the wind and
water
from reaching you.

Eight.
Try to find a way
to hold it
so that it keeps you dry
in all directions.
Wait for it
to block the rain.
Wait
until you realize
that it won’t.

Nine.
Clutch it tightly
as if it were the very source of your life.
Grasp it by the handle
and whatever you do,
don’t let go.
Hold it close
before the wind
blows it all away.

Ten.
Reluctantly
let it slip from your fingertips.
Watch it shoot forward,
twisting and tumbling,
carried by harsh gusts of wind
that beat you up,
too.
Cry,
your tears blending in
with the rain.

Eleven.
Stand
alone
with
a
new
umbrella.
It is neatly folded
and wrapped with a strap.
You’re already wet.
There is no point opening it now.

Laura Glesby, Age 13, Grade 8, Abraham Joshua Heschel School, Gold Key

This entry was written by NYC Scholastic Awards and published on December 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm. It’s filed under Poetry, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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