National Poetry Month Contest Winners 2022

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Monroe County Library System’s National Poetry month poetry contest!

Adult Category

The Holes You Left Behind by Wendy Kennedy

The holes keep surprising me-
Negative spaces still framing lost shapes
In a picture I never abandoned;
Layered slashes of color still showing through,
Drawing eye from foreground to horizon,
Casting cool shadows in the
Burning noontime of now.

I thought your silence would be empty
But I keep hearing you in tacit measures that
Pulse to a beat set in long movements before.
Your theme still enriching the chord,
Syncopated discord and harmony;
I tap my foot.

The texture of these days
Bears the imprint of your passing-
A vessel formed between two hands
That once worked together;
Clay hardened by heat and time and long love,
Rough edges still chafing.
I knead the ache and miss you.

Teen Category

Beyond by Emma Fister 

A cracking thunder,
On a still-heavy night,
With lightning and rain,
Fragrant in the air.

You can almost taste,
Those pear-cherry-rose blossoms,
Sweet and heavy in the air,
Awaiting the coming storm.

The winds pick up,
Lash at the trees,
Picking and swaying suddenly fragile limbs,
No mercy for bird or beast.

Then when it comes, it comes.
A raindrop, two,
Then heavens open and the tears,
They come cascading out.

Lightning you see, hear,
Then the thunder rolls,
Heavy across the landscape,
Rumbling your way.

The gales do not abate,
Gaining ferocity and vigor,
Picking and plucking and moving,
Lashing the rain to a slant.

The rain pounds down heavily,
You can feel it in your bones,
The storm has come,
And it will not leave.

The crack, the flash, the booms,
The blooms, the wind, the lashing rain,
The smell of pear-cherry-rose blossoms,
Heavy in the air.

Rain pervading the senses,
Rain everywhere,
Oh, this, this, this,
This is nature.


Children’s Category

The Kitten of Dreams by Annalise Rhea 

Hi little kitten
You are no bigger than a mitten
You look lost
I will pick you up
Do you want to meet my other cats and me
Hi little kitten
Your fur is like my mitten
Jump and run and play all through the day
Hi little kitten I will love you and I am smitten.