Dream Quest One Second Poetry Prize
Winner - SUMMER 2015
SHIRLEY RUSSAK WACHTEL
of East Brunswick, New Jersey - USA
“A SUMMER’S EVENING”
My son smelling of sand
makes lemonade in the evening.
bristles as he reaches into the refrigerator
for four yellow bumpy lemons.
Standing back to the window
with just the cap of a descending sun
he seems the shadow
of a boy.
caramelized cafe au lait by thirty summer days.
He places the round lemons on a smooth white table and
sharpened blade in hand
slices cleanly each one.
Squinting sternly he picks up each half
and squeezes as
muscle in his slender arm
lifts under the foil of skin
a brief and tender promise.
Then gently he pours
a pool of cool water and a rush of sugar
into the pitcher but
asks me to pick out the pits
for autumn planting.
Done I hand him the pitcher
as he deftly swirls the lemon sugar water
with a large silver spoon that
tinkles against bubbled glass.
“Good!” he proclaims
after one impatient sip and
does not hear
the raindrops which have begun already
to beat time’s steady march against the half-opened window.
About the poet:
Shirley Russak Wachtel is a college English professor living in New Jersey. She holds a Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew
University. She is the author of a book of poetry, In the Mellow Light, several books for children, and a series,
Spotlight on Reading, a college-level text. Her personal essays have been published in The New York Times
OpEd section. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Middlesex, Haiku Journal, Emerge, Leaves
of Ink, Whisper, and other literary journals. Her acclaimed memoir, My Mother's Shoes, follows
her mother's journey during the Holocaust and as a new citizen in America. Wachtel's latest book, The Music Makers, is the story of five individuals living in upstate New York who are drawn together by a mysterious young boy.