Whiteout

      by Michael Dylan Welch and David Terelinck

Winner of second place in the 2018 San Francisco International Rengay Competition sponsored by the Haiku Poets of Northern California. First published in Mariposa #41, Autumn/Winter 2019, page 27. Originally written in November and December of 2016.

first snow—
empty seats
in the passing bus                                                    Michael

        last year’s Santa
        sentenced to life                                               David

mountain pass—
the pickup in front of us
loses its chains                                                         Michael

an avalanche
of January mail—
divorce papers                                                           David

        the ice scraper breaks
        on the new windshield                                       Michael

whiteout
on the birth certificate
the father’s name left blank                                       David


Commentary by the Rengay Contest Judge

“This poem is much darker than my first-place choice, but no less well crafted. The linkages between verses and the quality of each link are exceptional. I was profoundly moved by this rengay as it moved from empty seats on a bus to whiteout on a birth certificate, with a series of catastrophes in between.”
—Deborah P Kolodji