WCPL writing contest winners — Poetry

WCPL writing contest winners — Poetry

Image Credit: Submitted

Editor’s note: This summer the Wayne County Public Library’s 2021 writing contest, “Imagine Your Story,” was held, with winners revealed in August. Here are a few winners from the poetry division:

Hailey Schlegel, Adult
“Three Months of Grief”

I’m ashamed to admit

There are days

I no longer think of you

Where I continue existing

As if you never did

Burying your life in mine

There are other days

Where the thought of you cripples and renders me useless. My bedroom smells stale

Of a burnt out Christmas candle and Taco Bell bags litter my floor

Wrapped in five blankets

I try to remember

Your fading laugh

And the stories you used to tell, your mumbling voice

Crackling over the phone

The one person who called me with no invitation

Or reason

Old people make me cry.

While at work the other day

I told an old woman

A stranger

Her Mickey Mouse sweatshirt reminded me of you

She called me sweetie

And continued with her life while mine was halted

And yours —

My mom called me this morning

Your Pug Pomeranian Poodle had a seizure last night

Though she’s 15 years old

If anything happens to her

My grief will start all over.

Lila Rice, Apple Creek, 8-10

Graceful dancers hurl themselves down from the blankets of blue,

Dancing with partners dressed in white

While the mighty sorceress waves her wand

Calling for winter to come again.

The old dancers are tucked into bed

blanketed in white while the mighty wind roars out orders from above.

Children put on hats, coats, mittens, scarves, boots.

Take your shovels from their places.

The trees are taking off their gowns of red.

Madeline Hochstetler, Dalton, 11-12

You express how you feel; you make fantasies come alive.

When I start writing something, in I dive.

You make up characters. Your writing feels like your life.

In any good book, there is always strife.

It is always good when your writing falls into place.

It feels like there is no empty space.

If you’re in a bad mood and start to write,

You’ll instantly feel better, I’d say, if I might.

Scott Mason, Burbank, Adult
“Breathing Brave”

A pause,

A moment,

Suspended thinly in time

For the brave, who by simply

Being brave, prove their bravery

As surely as they disprove their doubt.

For as that suspended moment then rushes on

And in the eyes twinkle the lingering

Of questions and weight of thought,

And a quick pulling inhale,

It is in that thinly hanging breath

That the brave see, they know, they sense

Doom, impending deafening consuming ...

Uncertainly wears a cloak of fire

And fear feeds that flame with every

Molecule of oxygen that remains.

And so the brave hold their breath, squint their eyes

Against the fire, rationalize a thousand

Escapes from this moment and then ...

Then muster a resolute, small but firm nod of the head

Pulling one foot out of that moment and forward

Mirrored by the other foot, eyes set upon the next moment

And knowing only that against reason, against

Fear and desolation and swarming doubt,

Against that foreboding flame, lies hope,

Suspended thinly in a moment

Proving itself to be hope by simply being

A shadow that is but a shade lighter than all that is around it.

And this is enough to exhale.

Eva Hummel, Berlin, 11-12

I close my eyes and the world falls away.

I’m in my own world now,

Where I am in control.

I’m now in a forest

Where the trees wave to say “Hello,”

And the spring breeze whispers his greetings.

The stars blink,

Surprised to see me

But I don’t mind.

The galaxy smiles,

Welcoming my longing for freedom.

I turn to my right,

And walk through the trees

To find myself looking at a field

Where golden grass dwells

And a cliff that sits

At the end of the field.

I breathe it in and smile,

Hope and determination on fire.

And suddenly I’m running




Running so fast that all the things that once held me back

Can’t keep up anymore.




It feels like I’m running on air now,

Every step lighter,

Every step faster,

Every step more freedom.

And still

I’m running



I’ve reached the cliff,

Where a path awaits for me

And I sprint up it

Till I can’t go any further

As I catch my breath

I turn around to see

The stars blinking in the places,

Right where they’re supposed to be.

“Stay where you are,” I tell them.

“Sometimes you’re the only thing in my life

That I can count on to always be there,

To never change.”

I turn back around to see

That l have indeed found

What I was looking for.

I sit with my legs

Dangling over the cliff

And take it into memory.

The sea embraces land

In powerful unity,

And the sea stretches over to the horizon,

Disappearing into tomorrow and

I watch as the sky turns colors,

Purple, Navy blue, pastel green,

Pastel blue, orange, and ...

Wait for it …


Here she comes,

Giver of life and light herself,

The sun peeks over the horizon in bursts of yellow-gold

Over the kingdom we both love and share.

I wait for her to come up

And we talk a silent talk

That only I can understand.

“I’ll be back tonight,” I tell her.

I’m back to reality now,

Or am I not?

But I hear the all-too-familiar sound

Of my friends shouting.

Here, I lean

Against a tree

At the back corner of the playground.

“That was better than TV,” I whisper,

And the school bell rings.

Smirk on my face,

I’m running



Running towards my future

In mystery’s territory.

And I love it.