Cassandra Goes Over the Top

With her sunglasses on, Cassandra can see
rays of rain descending from the clouds to the south,
where everyone else still sees blue,
a puffy whiteness around the edges.
She cannot have a normal life
but pretends to have one, anyway:
two kids, a boy and a girl.
He’s an artist, she’s an athlete.
Neither one has ever rolled his or her eyes
or blamed her for being what she is.
When she sits on the bleachers
with the other parents
they all forgive her for wearing last year’s spirit
clothes, in red and black.
It’s still the same team, the Mighty Amazon,
a band of archers on white chargers
digging the ball before it touches the polished floor,
passing to the wine-dark setter, spiking the punch
over the top of the net to the other side,
not a soul able to handle that white fire.