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©2020 by The America Library of Poetry.

2003 "Echoes of Youth"

Student Poetry Contest

Division Winners

Division I
(grades 4-5)

Blinded Eyes
by Jacob Irby

If you could only be me
Then you would see
The things that I see in you
You’d look past the years
And the darkness of fears
To a pure heart inside of you
Ignoring the hate
And cruel hands of fate
To feel only love with you
If you tried then you could
Take the bad with the good
And never pass judgment on you
You then would begin
To be a true friend
Who’d always be there for you

 

Poem Copyright © 2003 by Jacob Irby

Can I Be Your Friend
by Virginia Giroir

 

Can I be your friend?  
I am loyal and I’m caring
I keep secrets and love sharing
I share more than just my toys
I share respect, love, hopes, and joys
Can I be your friend?  
I am really crazy and I’ll make you smile 
In my unique and often funny style
A day won’t go by that you won’t see 
What a friend you’ll have in me
Can I be your friend?  
No matter what color your skin or hair
Boy or girl, I just don’t care
A friend’s a friend in good times and bad 
With you whether you’re happy or sad
Can I be your friend?  
I have a lot of friends already
Susie, Sharon, Ashley, Betty
Every one I do adore
But there’s always room for many more

Poem Copyright © 2003 by Virginia Giroir

Division II
(grades 6-7)

Lovelier Than Nature
by Andrew Rowell

People talk of nature’s beauty
And its elegance
Of how the trees all bow and curtsy
And the rivers dance
But I know one being lovelier
Who flies above this rank
Who forever drinks the water
From beauty’s riverbank
With eyes of gorgeous sapphire
Shining as the blue sky
With skin as soft as a swan’s feather
Never aging by and by
Her name the purest of them all
Of gemstones and precious jewels
She’s the eighth natural wonder
Ignored only by fools

Poem Copyright © 2003 by Andrew Rowell

 

The Last Moment
by Anna Nathanson

I try to cling to the last flash of brilliant color
The setting gold on the mountain’s edge
I relish all the beauty
As the last delicate shaft of light disappears into the sea of night
The final moment of its glory
The astounding radiance it throws about
The way the light plays on your face
And it glows around you like an angel’s halo
But, alas
The moment has flown into the night
As the moon and its twinkling servants fill the night sky
My eyes ache to see the setting golden circle of light once more
But, oh
It is a wonderful sorrow!
For now my heart and eyes can think
Of the sun’s tomorrow

Poem Copyright © 2003 by Anna Nathanson

 

Division III
(grades 8-9)

Pardon My Dust
by Helen Zhang

Pardon my dust, I’m renovating, these walls are only temporary
What’s going on inside, you ask? A rather time consuming task
I’m trying a different act you see, since no one likes me just for me
So I’m practicing to be someone better
Pardon my dust, I’m renovating, these walls are only temporary
What’s going on inside, you ask? I’ve got to find a decent mask
It’s to help pretend I’m someone else
And conceal my feelings so no one tells how sensitive I really am
Pardon my dust, I’m renovating, these walls are only temporary
Why am I doing this you ask? You say I do not need a mask
I don’t have to be somebody else
And you’ll like me for me, if it helps
All right then, I’ll sweep away the dust
Renovations have just been canceled

Poem Copyright © 2003 by Helen Zhang

 

Black
by Jennifer Cervella

The face is no longer lively and joyful
But apathetic and expressionless
The pink has left your cheeks
But when I come to visit, your brown eyes light up
A deep crimson bleeds from your mouth
Then you tell me that you were lined up on the field
The British marched closer
And you began to load Pumpkin’s musket
But you were shot before you could nail down a Redcoat
You are the definition of a Patriot
Your clean, white shirt is no longer solid white
But stained with blood, grass, and dirt
You wish that you could live to see the end of the revolution
The horse you used to ride now cries alone in his stable
He knows you are suffering
The gray sky overhead is an omen of your death
But we omit the fact that light creeps out
Of an ominous crack in the clouds
But as I try to regain my composure
You tell me to tell all of the family
You love them, and then I break apart
As I step outside, the smell of gunpowder is still in the air
And the green grass is still coated in dew
They treat you like a newborn child, although you are a man
"Someday, we’ll know how to stop bleeding like that"
He told me you died
And when I go back to the house, I see your printer’s apron
Splotched in black ink hanging on your hook

Poem Copyright © 2003 by Jennifer Cervella

 

Division IV
(grades 10-12)

Stale Bread
by Teresa Sheehan

His grimy pants were ripped
Little fringes of despair
They were waiting to be saved
I was just taking the trash out, and he asked me for bread
He had climbed into the dumpster
His fingers clinging to the edge, his last hope
He just wanted bread, no more
He said he was going to give it to the ducks
Pointing behind him with a hunger-stained finger
His beard hung down on his sweaty army-green shirt
Picking up the pieces of dirt that rested there
I turned and went back inside
He waited for me in the heat
For stale bread
It was off the gourmet rack, Parmesan Oregano
But it was stale
The little specks of spices matched
His crumby beard
And he took it, with a trembling smile
I know he ate it

Poem Copyright © 2003 by Teresa Sheehan

 

Given As a Gift
by Claire Vanderwoude

Given as a gift
I grasped too hard
Only to be pricked
To watch the blood flow, welling up
Spilling from a soul yearning for love
Given as a gift
I threw it away
Crushing its life
Breaking its spirit
Never caring, never feeling its pain
Given as a gift
To be cruelly ignored
Left on a doorstep to be
Frozen, entombed in bitter frost
To die, alone and forgotten
Given as a gift
Never able to win
Sent slowly back to the creator
Left wilting, myself and the rose

Poem Copyright © 2003 by Joseph Allocco