FIRST PLACE WINNER
$500 SCHOLARSHIP PRIZE
There are strong red apples hanging
with solidity, weighing down the sad, crimson leaves of fall.
She sits beneath the seasoned grenades, ponders romance:
buying lipstick to camouflage liquid red evidence
and rouge to disguise the apples of her cheeks,
hidden under a geography of branched blood vessels.
Such a relief to be still after long nights of twitching
under blistering comforters, which didn’t bring much comfort
after all. Ice pack awaiting a crooked nose, swollen red
with a purple heart at its epicenter; his “I love you”.
He saunters back to where she is under the tree,
the look of a soldier caught in his eye.
She longs to be a bird, a winged angel. She would spring from her own Medusa,
the perfect emissary between Earth and Olympus.
Between worlds, perhaps she would stumble upon Persephone,
the goddess she does not want to be anymore:
beautiful but ephemeral, forever stuck with a pomegranate
cupped in her fleshy palm, binding her to a world without light.
Somewhere far away, a red-bellied robin perches on a windowsill,
looking for something worth having.
Randie Adler, NJ, Tenafly High School
ProgressI am listening to the buildings talk
those spiraling metal whoops of joy
"oh children" they say "in the future
dreams will soar above our heads and
one wave of a gentle hand
will freeze the wind in its
eternal loop of rebellion and love."But they do not speak of the broken
the arms and legs and voices
of workers who collapse under the weight of the present
how wide shoulders bend under its heaviness
and how, like an open mouth,
the night sucks everything empty
in the deepest of all kisses.
Susannah Sharpless, IN, Park Tudor School
Fuchsia is like the swan
Fuchsia is like the swan’s neck as it arcs,
and strikes thrashing fins bulges fat with golden scales
as it swallows
In the summer
mud blisters and cracks
under the tire swing
bayonets planted defiantly
under the willow
in the shallows of the pond
Muddy water reflects
white and gliding
like the hunting swan
Dad points to a rising turtle shell
and we silently toss breadcrumbs
to the snapper
Katie Marenghi, MI, Ann Arbor Huron HS