Funny Thing

If I had to give myself a name,
it would be laughter.
That is what I do. 
I find things funny - or at least ironic.
And then, I crack up. 
Everything can be turned on its head
at least a couple of times, shaking
the flakes in the snow globe. 
Go ahead. Make the water swirl
and the little houses disappear in storm.
Then go for the gusto and laugh, 
because playing God is odd and we so
very rarely get the chance to do it
responsibly, in a way that says,
"It's okay to enjoy the chaos."
Laughter. It's the reason a friend of mine
became my friend, he says.
"I heard you laughing across the room,
and I knew I had to meet you."
There is no finer compliment.
There is no finer friendship.
Wrap your loved ones in arms of laughter,
and you've done something extraordinary.
I sure do miss my friend. 

For Jorge DeVillasante, circa 2018

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 co-president and a founding member of Write by the Rails (WbtR), the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. Katherine 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. Her poetry and prose book Get Happy, Dammit: Staying Inspired and Motivated in an Often-Unhappy World received a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association. Katherine's children’s book, A Crane Named Steve, hit number one in its category on Amazon in 2019. Katherine then 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 Katherine earned second place for "Aftermath" in a Poetry Society of Virginia national contest and the regional Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence in the category of Individual Artist. She won first place in the Virginia Writers Club statewide Golden Nib contest in the poetry category for her poem "Kayak." Katherine was recognized as a PW Perspective 2021 DMV Best Business award winner in the category of author. 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 writer for a government contracting company assigned to NSF and is published in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has authored 11 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, Get Happy, Dammit, D.C. Ekphrastic: Crisis of Faith, Thirty Years of Cardinals Calling and Get Happier, Dammit. She uses proceeds from her books to support giving back initiatives.
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