Easter Morning

Easter –
door open,
inviting in the sun,
we are weeding
your new front lawn,
three-by-three patch of grass
and shrub, risen
to the level
of the third cement step
and the bottom branches
of bush planted too close
to the townhouse
you bought just two months ago.
The suddenness of that wasp
light-speeding from the gutter,
defying physics like a miracle,
nosing a way into your home.
That look on your face
when I pull the steel door shut.
“Mom! I don’t have my keys!”
You lean in front of the stainless knob.
The stubbornness of it.
“Wait,” I say, breaking off the end
of a weak earring. “Try this.”
You feed the keyhole my jewelry,
curse, fingers coaxing tumblers.
But the metal tip splits,
lodges in the lock,
jams the handle all together,
and I mumble,
“Well this is problematic.”
Have I mentioned it was Easter?
Have I mentioned the windows
were sealed tighter
than your angry lips?
Have I mentioned you couldn’t recall
the garage door code?
Have I said I knew you
thought me a fool,
but I was well intentioned,
protecting you
even at this late age
when you no longer believed
in guardian angels or gratitude?
That handyman we ended up calling.
The one who drove an hour,
somehow disassembled the doorknob,
changed out the bolts,
grease beneath his fresh cut nails.
Telling us it was no problem at all.
He’d left church to let us in,
worked in a white Sunday suit,
one knee on the welcome mat,
the other on concrete.
He opened the door for us.
Saved us from ourselves.
“No charge,” he said to you.
“God told me I should come.”
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Katherine Gotthardt

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, hails from the Northern Virginia/D.C. metro area. She considers herself a writer by nature and by trade, having begun writing for fun as soon as her mother helped teach her to read. An active part of the literary community, Katherine is current president and a founding member of Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. She has been a Prince William County Poet Laureate nominee and was the winner of Inside Nova’s 2019 and 2020 Best of Prince William award in the category of author. Get Happy, Dammit: Staying Inspired and Motivated in an Often-Unhappy World received a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association. Her children’s book, A Crane Named Steve, hit number one in its category on Amazon in 2019. Katherine took first place in the free verse category of Loudoun County Library Foundation’s 2020 Rhyme On poetry contest for her piece "Discussion Topic." The Prince William Arts Council and Poet Laureate Circle awarded her the 2020 Outstanding Poetry Project Award for her leadership in Write by the Rails' Poems Around Town poetry installation. In 2021 she earned second place for "Aftermath" in a Poetry Society of Virginia national contest. While Katherine is well-known for her poetry, she also has established a solid reputation for writing articles, columns and short fiction. She is a full-time marketing writer for a government contracting company and is published in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has authored nine books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water, Bury Me Under a Lilac, Late April, A Crane Named Steve, and Get Happy, Dammit. D.C. Ekphrastic: Crisis of Faith was released in December 2020.
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