All Together Now Contest Winner

smiling woman with long red curly hair and a bluish green sweater

Lindsey Weishar, photo credit Karley Bates

Lindsey Weishar
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Sep 7, 2023

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Lindsey Weishar has won our writing contest on the theme All Together Now with her piece "To Get Her."

Lindsey Weishar holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is a contributor to a variety of outlets including Verily magazine, The Pitch, and the Ploughshares blog. Her chapbook, Matchbook Night, was published by Leaf Press (Canada) in 2018.

To get her

My sister’s nerves were disturbed by COVID
so I drove from Illinois to Kansas to get her.
The trick, said the red-headed girl
in my second-grade class, is to break
together into a trinity of words—to get her.

Revelation for my sister, the cleanliness
of Love’s bathrooms, as we drove hours
through Missouri together, entered Illinois.
Her huge hazel eyes, her slightly hooked
nose have always reminded me of a bird’s.

Memories of old illnesses made her wingless,
too tired to get herself back home
to our parents, to the place we all gathered
at the end of that interminable May,
after what seemed like years, finally together.

To get her, you must realize my sister
had battled with words since she was seven.
Flu was one that still rankled her
when the world swirled into pandemic,
when everyone was suddenly afraid.

You have to understand she almost
drowned once because of words,
so many beakless birds fluttering
her thoughts in the 12-foot, where years
of lessons fled, left her with “I cannot.”

I still remember her surprise that ride
home, the discovery that her old pit stops
had nothing on Love’s, that it’s easier
when the trip, the word, is broken up first,
and then brought together, as if the stops

and syllables were meant for each other,
a spelling made possible over miles
of stitched highway, wending a familiar
way, mending the ways days had torn her,
until we were finally all together, now.



Reviewed by Helen H.
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