In honor of National Poetry Month, students were invited to submit poems in three separate categories: long, short, and structured. Contestant names were withheld and judges were comprised of staff members and local community members. Congratulations to our three winners!

Short Poem Winner: Eleanor Hedges Duroy

I open a worn book to a random page

And find inside a pressed leaf from last fall

The memories come flooding back in heavy streams

The apples spilled in the cupboard,

The pumpkins waiting patiently outside the door

The leaves hung around the house

I shut the book and the memories slowly leave

Leaving me once again with an empty heart.

Long Poem Winner: Robert Gangwer

Can you hear me?

You speak my language,

You hear my words,

You see right through me,

You see my burns.

You hear my laughter,

You hear me cry,

You hear me screaming,

You hear my sighs.

You try to find me,

You look too long,

You ask forgiveness,

You took too long.

You try to help me,

You told me no,

You ran for cover,

You let me go.

So now I stand here,

Waiting to die,

Can you hear me screaming now?

Can you hear me cry?

Structured Poem Winner: Marykate Hill

A Poetic Presentation For Past and Present Patriots

An army is angry and anointed with animosity,

Bitter and burdened, the battalion braves a battle,

Cleverly carrying weapons, the captain conducts the crew,

Dew dresses the dirt, dawn darts over the distant dunes,

Every effort extracts energy from their exhausted efficacy,

Far away foes frivolously fill functioning firearms with fruitless fillings,

Gone are the gay gatherings of grateful gentlemen,

Hate hollowed hearts heckle while hostility heightens,

Ignoring injuries, the ignorant infantries intercept infection,

Justified jitters join the joyous jeers as their journey reaches a juncture,

Killing kicks off while kinfolk collect Kleenex in their kingdom,

Lives are lost, and men lie on the lawn longing to look at a love's lineaments,

Many masses of men are murdered mercilessly,

Neither know the extent of these noxious numbers,

Organization is overlooked as oxygen is overtaken by oozing oils,

Percussive bullets pound the people and put them in their place,

Quibbles are quenched, but qualms are not quiet,

Remorse fills new rulers, as reflex refutes past results,

Silence steals the sunset as surviving soldiers sit,

Time says tick and tock, but twitching troops cannot reach tranquility,

Unlucky men utilize unnecessary materials, and are undeniably unhappy,

Veterans vividly remember the victims and visibly show the pain,

Whimsical families wish it was not true,

"X"ing out a Veterans pain is hard, but not impossible,

You can help their pain,

Zero in on a veteran you know, and thank them for all that they sacrificed.