After Receiving the Rejection Letter From the Sonnet Contest

I do not feel rejected. I read the names
of the winners and smile for them. I
imagine them jumping up and down
in their kitchens when they get the thicker letter
on nicer letterhead that says, “Congratulations.”
Sometimes practice pays. I have done this rebuff
before with less grace. But today it is easy.
I wonder if they felt as thrill-full as I did
this morning skiing across a diamond snow crust,
unbound from the narrow corduroy ribbon
of track that meanders the valley floor.
How I wound through thick mazes of red-tipped willows
and darted through gaping Englemann spruce,
sprightly and springsome and blithe in my skin. Oh endless rebound!
How every moment of that hour I smiled
and gave into, yes, the right word is ecstasy.
Sometimes what matters most sticks. Like the way that
tonight my love said that he loved me.
And I knew for certain he did.

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