There she was
Shoeless, tipsy, and still in her work clothes
But she was laughing

Laughing as the tethered yellow ball I smacked cut in front of her face
The sun’s blinding rays making her miss it

I wasn’t going to say,
after the year she had,
That she needed a win
I wasn’t going to treat her like ‘that’

What she needed was to find a way to forget
Just for a small increment of time
During these last moments of summer
So I hit the ball with my fist
Soaring it over her head

It was a fair fight
I wasn’t good at this
And she was tipsy off of one seltzer
Our gracious host had offered us more
But this was our first stop of many
And I don’t think she’d let herself party again without him

My only excuse was having to drive

We didn’t stay long
But long enough for her

It’s hard to know that I only think about the events of January when I see her
But she thinks of them even when she’s with me
But I like to hope the funeral did not enter her mind
As she focused on wrapping that rope around the pole

And that she was really laughing.

Megan Overton’s “Tether Ball” won third prize in the Eighth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. Megan is a BFA Photography and Videograph major at SVA. “I enjoy writing short stories and poems,” Megan says, “and I want to seek a career as a photojournalist and writer.”