Her mother heard it from the kitchen.
Her brother heard it above the radio
playing in his room.
She dressed in pale blue blouse
and navy skirt, silver charms around her
wrist, for her seven-thirty date with Tom.
The night before she skated at the roller rink,
blond hair flying ’round her shoulders,
tanned legs clad in short white shorts.
Image of the perfect sixteen year old —
Cheerleader, straight A student.
Boys wanted her. Girls wanted to be her.
At precisely seven-fifteen, she changed all that.
Her mother found her daughter’s white bedspread,
pristine walls, carefully chosen outfit —
and Ann destroyed by a single shotgun blast.
Author’s Comment: I live in the southern Appalachian Mountains, but grew up in southern Georgia where I made memories that burst forth in my poetry almost unbidden. I find that poetry is my vehicle for bringing the past forward, for using synchronicity to connect now and then. We are our past and our present. Writing poetry helps me fit pieces of both together. Through writing, I continue to learn who I am.
Bio: Glenda Beall lives in Hayesville, North Carolina where she teaches and directs Writers Circle, a learning center for writers of all genres. Finishing Line Press published her chapbook, Now Might as Well Be Then in 2009. Beall’s poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals including The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Main Street Rag, Appalachian Heritage, Wild Goose Poetry Review and others.