The John H. Bennett, Jr. Prize
Spring 2015
Debra Daniel

My First Visit to Charleston,
The Sixth Grade All Day Field Trip


We drove over the Cooper River Bridge
and back.  From high inside the Greyhound Bus,
the rails seemed little protection from a plummet
down and down, but, it was Bobby in the seat
behind me, not death by drowning that caused
my jittery stomach and caught my breath.

At the museum, exotic pyramid people linked 
an elongated dance and history muttered 
incomprehensible syllables, but I paid small 
notice to the mummy so mysteriously wrapped. 
The deadest thing I’d ever seen offered no match  
for the exuberance of Bobby’s freckles.

We rode in carriages through cobbled streets, 
market-shopped among warm-skinned women 
weaving baskets of grass, tender and sweet, 
but that night, curving into girlish sleep, I didn’t 
conjure the lips and cheeks of Charleston’s face.  
I breathed ideas of boy, images fresh and clean.
©2015 Debra Daniel