Poetry Contest Winners

The Monroe County Library System is pleased to present the 2020 National Poetry Month Poetry Contest award winners!  Congratulations to the award winning poets and thank you to everyone who participated.  We look forward to seeing you next year!


First Place

Out of Time
By Shane Emery
The future will feel
like coming home.
You will arrive at the foot of the driveway
with your bags in your hands.
You will wear a tired smile
and glow in the porchlight.
The snow will start to melt.
I will be waiting
with patience engraved on my ribcage
because my watch stopped on the day you left,
and my heart is a terrible timekeeper.
It has miscounted the moments,
it believes that every day is the first day of winter,
it has an affinity for twilight,
and it is obsessed with the sound your tires made
on the day they rolled onto the winding road.
But it helped me build
this world outside of time
where I can stand, happy in the porchlight,
looking down at the space where you will someday stand.
You will be shaped like an island shoreline.
You will have poetry written on the soles of your feet
from the longs walks you’ve taken.
You will carry a library in your chest,
and all the wonders you’ve seen
will dance out of your eyes. Your hands
will be covered in earth and scars and magic,
you will bear the horizon on your back,
and your hair will be blown wild
by the fickle winds you’ve faced.
You will know what you were made for. Time
will no longer be both your enemy and your friend.
It will just be.
I will open my arms.
I will call you up to the house.

Second Place

By David A. Kreiger
The cool, orange sun sleeps behind the haystacks,
And will wait ‘till tomorrow;
Before looking for the pumpkins again.
Leaves are slashed from the yielding trees,
And splashed by the wind into pools of color on the forest floor;
Yellows, oranges, reds and browns blanket oak roots,
-To keep them warm on the autumn dark.
The silver moon is watching,
She looks down on me;
And sometimes I can see her smile,
Through a flock of passing geese.
I walk along broad streets and narrow paths toward home,
Tomorrow I’ll look for the pumpkins with the sun,
And maybe have a chance to smile back at the moon.

Third Place

Lost in the Dark
By Maya Akayoshi
In a cage with no key,
In a room with no doors,
In a house with no windows,
No ceiling, no floors.
I lie in the darkness,
Lost in my head,
Yearning to go
Anywhere else instead.
And I run, and I shout,
And I try every route
Of this labyrinth,
Just looking for any way out,
But no matter my tries,
And despite my endeavors,
Of running and shouting
For some sort of savior,
I find myself back
In the room with no doors,
In the house with no windows,
Or ceiling, or floors.
Just locked in the cage,
In the cage with no key,
As the time ticks away,
And the world forgets me.