2013 Poetry WITS Youth Poetry Contest Winners

1-3 GRADE WINNER

Addy Deloffre
, Maple Glen Elementary
Tornado
Here comes the tornado

on quick and speedy legs.
It is fast and never stops.

It is sneaky and ready to catch its prey.

It is running and spinning and never stops
and then it goes away.

1-3 GRADE RUNNER UP

Zachary Porter, 
Plymouth Elementary
The Field
A Dusty, windy
Saturday
Late at night

Fans cheering, bats cracking
Baseballs flying, bats swinging

Pitching, running
In the spring

Ready to play

4-6 GRADE WINNER

Hana Kenworthy, 
Colonial Middle School
Laylah
With a swish, the flock of light-birds move
as the screeching calls stop.

Two stars suddenly burst into worlds of unseen
dull, ugly straw rocks back and forth,
becoming a new shade of molten gold, 
until it is no longer simple food for livestock,
but beams of captured sunlight.
Bubbling, the liquid in a pot hurls
into small pits, then
silence. Only the wind ripples through.

The liquid is no longer. Two hands rise,
clutching nothing, nothing but themselves.

Drops fall, splattering. Two lines, 
of rain and life together,
childishly pout of unfairness, of anger. 
Above juts a cliff, darkness spouting.

5 cylinders spring into place, below and above, 
battered from the effort.

She reaches up, grasping for warmth, 
the warmth of one,
the one who made her… But she stiffens, cracks.

And she is no more.

4-6 GRADE RUNNER UP

Priya Padhye
, Wissahickon Middle School
Paper Building
Last night,

I built a building out of paper.
It was constructed from the lead of my pencil,

The tremors of my fingers,
And the creativity of a genius, or a madman.

Then, in a rage, like that of a baby when his wish is denied,

I struck down my building.

Down, down, down it fell,

Building blocks tumbling askew.

Should I have known better,
I wouldn't have set it afloat, out the window, like I did then.

And so upon the updraft it fluttered.

My sweat and energy, all of it wasted

Upon the breath of the wind.

I let it fall, fall, fall,

Down into the sewer,

And it was consumed by the pernicious muck

That can only be found in the aforementioned sewer.

And unfortunately, the only creatures that could indulge
In the pleasure that my building held

Were the rats.

Back at home, I was no longer cross

And I lamented the loss of the building I had scorned

Realizing its evanescence

And its beauty,

Though it was just the product of me soliloquizing
And writing down my spoken thoughts,
All at one time.

Though it was just an abstract thought,

Such as the one I am writing down right now,

Something about, something in it-- the essence of it, perhaps,

Seemed magical.
I had nurtured it for nothing more than a few seconds,

Yet for some reason, this was no trivial matter.

A connection had been severed,

And I felt something die deep inside me.

That in itself
Is what perplexes me.
How do you know you've lost something
if it never truly existed?

7-9 GRADE WINNER

Leanne Siorek
, Norristown High School
Target Practice
Target practice.
It’s all about target practice.

Cupid messed up his arrows and they struck me right in the eye,

but my lips still know how to aim for yours.

I have the capability to painfully wrap my arms around your torso

and I get urges to constrict your ribcage as if to convince your heart to beat again.

I know how to look you in the eyes
when yours dart around the room to avoid my questions
and I hear words you’ve kept in the back of your throat 
like coiled serpents flicking their tongues through your teeth.
I see your nervous habits like nails down to the quick
and guess how fast your lips chap when you lick them
before delicately plucking out words from the inside of your mind

just to flow over your taste buds like rivers of every consolidation you’ve ever
learned
and I know this.
I know how every joint sounds when you pop it.

I know the look your face contorts to when you cry

and how low you hang your head
as if the weight of the world rested on your defined shoulders.

I know the taste of your body so well I could manufacture recipes and sell them,

and how slightly crooked your bottom teeth are
because I’ve studied the bite marks you leave
like a first semester college student.

Cupid may have missed but not nearly as greatly as I’ve missed you.

Target practice makes for a perfect shot, but I’ll just have to settle with aiming for
your cheek.

7-9 GRADE RUNNER UP

Jaycie Clerico, 
Spring-Ford
See You Soon
I’ll see you soon my friend, my friend.
I’ll see you oh so soon. 

We’ll have to meet for tea at fifty seconds until noon.
I’ll see you soon my friend, my friend.
I’ll see you oh so soon. 

We’ll sing the song we happily sing,
The one with the catchy tune.
I’ll see you soon my friend, my friend.
I’ll see you oh so soon. 

Just meet me at the park
And make sure you wear your hat of maroon.

10-12 GRADE WINNER

Haley Gordon
, Cheltenham High School
Last Period of the Day (in May)
that antsy feeling in your forearms
that makes you hug yourself violently

and you have to bite your lip

because you can't scream

but outside it's sunny and warm
and you are trapped inside
and that person (that one person you hate)

raises her hand three thousand times

and says nothing that you can understand, 
but squawks as if asking for a slap in a rare bird language
and you can't give her what she must be asking for

because an in-school would probably be worse than sitting here
but only probably
and that teacher makes the joke he made on the first day of school

and the second and fifth and twenty ninth and forty second

and you don't even groan because expending that much energy

risks you dissolving into a pool of drool and sweat and angst

which would be unfair to the janitors
and ultimately make walking to your locker take even longer than usual

and that clock is almost definitely most likely five minutes slow

and you can't verify that with your phone because four people have been scolded already

and there's no defense when you've heard four people get scolded

meaning you have to sit and stare as the second hand stares back unmoving

obviously just to spite you
and now even though the teacher is looking for volunteers you can't look away because then it wins
so you get called on, and you lose the contest only to say
that you didn't hear what the question was and would he repeat it
but of course that only brings on another lecture on the importance of attention 
even though he "understands" that it's the last period 
of a beautiful day
in May

Founded and Directed by 2008 Montgomery County Poet Laureate Elizabeth Rivers, the PoetryWITS (Writers in the Schools) Program showcases student writing and encourage poetry teaching. From everyone at PS, Junior, we send our heartiest congratulations to the 2013 Montgomery County Youth Poetry Contest winners!.