2016 Youth Winners

Silent Solace

Do you ever think about the trees?
With arms stretching up, reaching for the sky.
Silent. Peaceful. Still. Swaying in the breeze.
Inviting one to try and climb so high.
Through thick and thin, never wavering,
That tree depended on, standing constantly.
A steady trunk to lay my burdens on,
It props me up. Unreluctantly
Yet consider how this tree stands so tall
With bark so thick and steady to the core
To give the hope it does, for nothing at all
Never once asking you to Please give more.
Consider the things that go unseen
The vast roots, supporting, making things so green.

Raelynn Peter
Winona, MN

An Unusual Love Letter

I met you at the start of school, in fall,
When I smelled fresh, and you seemed dull and boring.
But I was superficial too, exploring
You, and several others, thin and tall
And fair. Then they all left, but you remained.
So you began to fill me with a notion
That I could dream of flying geese, and oceans,
And laugh at life, and love without a pain…

But you refused to laugh, or love, or dream,
Sharpminded, rigid, working, working faster
For her, who gave you purpose, bliss, it seemed.
But then you died; your killer was your master.
I lay there, dropping paper tears and screams,
Our love, a notebook and a pencil, was just a grand disaster.

Gila Winefeld
Palo Alto, CA