Deborah P Kolodji (dkolodji) wrote,
Deborah P Kolodji

Hand Prints

I once had an apron my daughter painted in preschool. It was a white chef’s apron, decorated with her little pink handprints. For some unfathomable reason, my ex-husband decided to wear it for a BBQ party and by the time I found out about it, it was hopelessly stained with charcoal and grease that never, ever came out and the handprints were lost. But I can still hug my daughter, now 19 and all grown up.

I’ve been reading Time Pieces today, the 1998 poetry book by Michael Bishop and he mentions his son Jamie's handprints in the last stanza of one poem, "Between Classes:"

But I’m between classes.
The linoleum inundates my feet.
My scuffed shoes are going under.
I raise my eyes.
On the lowest dusty shelf:
Jamie’s hand prints.

- Michael Bishop from “Between Classes,” Time Pieces, Edgewood Press 1998

Jamie, his son, is gone now -- a victim of the Virginia Tech shooter. I find myself filled with a deep well of sadness at the loss of this man I’ve never met and for his family.

Michael Bishop is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and the SFPA has decided to donate to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund in Jamie’s name. The Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund was set up by Virginia Tech to help the families of the victims. If you are a SFPA member and want to be part of the SFPA memorial donation, you can send a PayPal payment to Helena Bell, the SFPA Treasurer at or by snail mail to the normal SFPA address on our website. Please make sure you clearly note that this is for the memorial fund to ensure it goes to the right place.

You can also donate directly to Virginia Tech:
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