Student Poetry Contest 2018

Our First Annual Student Poetry Contest

The month of April is known as National Poetry Month. To mark the occasion, we invited our students to submit poems they wrote to our first annual poetry contest. 

The response from our students overwhelmed us. Not only did we receive nearly 200 entries, but the quality of poems submitted was more than we could have hoped for. 

And the Winners Are…

When selecting the winning poems, our judges focused on the theme, diction, the use of imagery, rhythm, and musicality. 

Featured below are first place, second place, and several “honorable mention” poems. These poems stood out among the numerous promising entries. We hope you appreciate the works of some brilliant aspiring poets. 

First place and second place winners were awarded Amazon gift cards. All the poems featured here were also published to the Apex Learning Virtual School on Facebook and Google+.

First Place – My great aunt and Alzheimer’s disease by Zoe F.

Second Place – A Poem by Naomi Z.

Honorable Mention – Student’s Ode to Now by Sofia B.

Honorable Mention – The Chains by William A.

Honorable Mention – The Trail of Despair by Blake S.

Honorable Mention – The Mysterious They by Megan G.

Honorable Mention – You by Madison B.

Honorable Mention – Rome Was Not Built in a Day by Zoe U.

First Place Poem

My great aunt and Alzheimer’s disease. A Poem by Zoe F.

My great aunt and Alzheimer’s disease

by Zoe F.

Remember that one cloudy December when I forced open the door

and a bucket of snow crashed soundlessly on my feet?

Ice cubes formed around each individual toe,

the blood in my veins froze like a thin dribble of lava

hardening to a cool pumice, rock solid as

your smoky, burned bread. The ice melted when

Laughter oiled your vocal cords. Remember when

we celebrated America’s insurgence against Britain,

flipping down the tailgate and yelling

“victory” to the skies? Dark debris, like brown-powdered sugar,

littered your hair that night. You couldn’t stop scratching your scalp.

Beads of crimson blood dried under your nails but

Never dried up your humor like the stream

In our backyard, now a crevice full of smooth, round gray stones.

I watch your eyes crinkle at the corners when you look at me,

I know you love me just as you loved spongy, sweet vanilla cake only

two years ago. But I just wish I could penetrate your skull to know

if you remember who I am.

Second Place Poem

A Poem - by Naomi Z.

A Poem

by Naomi Z.

This is

a story

that is written

like a poem.

The Beginning

In the beginning,

there was a girl.

The girl was awkward,

shy,

and small.

She talked to no one,

and no one talked to her.

She only loved animals.

The Pond

By the girl’s house,

there was a pond.

By the pond,

there was a family of ducks.

The girl loved the ducks,

and the ducks loved her.

She fed them grains

and seeds

and corn.

Soon,

all sorts of animals

gathered by the pond,

and the girl

fed them all.

They loved her,

and she loved them.

The Crows

One day, a murder of crows

gathered by her house.

The girl

didn’t like the crows.

They were loud

and ugly

and looked like evil.

The girl ignored them

as she traveled to the pond,

but the crows would flock around her

and move when she moved,

cawed when she spoke,

and settled on her head and shoulders.

The girl didn’t like this.

She tried to shake them off,

but the crows

always

came back.

The Invasion

One night,

men in uniforms

with guns and yelling

charged into her town.

They made everyone get up

and go outside.

They ransacked the houses,

collected the treasures,

and killed the livestock.

The girl cried as they shot

all the ducks that didn’t fly away,

and the animals that hadn’t escaped.

As the girl and her people

left with the men,

she noticed that the only animals left

were the crows.

Smock

The men separated the girl

from her family.

She cried some more.

They told her to stop crying.

She didn’t,

so they hit her,

hard.

She cried even more

as she felt the blood

trickle down her back.

They gave her

a dirty black smock

and told her to change.

So she did.

The next day,

as she stepped into the sunlight,

she saw the crows.

They flew up to her,

and settled on her head and shoulders.

The girl didn’t like it

and shook them off.

Chosen

Many weeks later,

the girl was hungry,

and dirty,

and sad.

Nobody in the camp talked to her,

and she didn’t talk to them.

The crows hadn’t come to her in weeks.

They watched her

many yards away.

They watched her

as the men yelled at her

and hit her.

They watched her

when she cried softly at night,

when she complained about the cold,

when she listened to her roaring stomach.

They watched

as she became sick

from all those sleepless nights

and cold winds

that wrapped their freezing embrace

around her body.

They watched

as the men lined up the campers

for the daily routine of finding

the sick, old, and weak.

The crows inched closer

when the girl was chosen.

Crows, Once More

The men tossed her

and many other

sick, old, and weak people

into a vehicle.

The girl climbed over rotting bodies

and saw the crows,

once again within inches of her.

They flapped their wings

and flew around,

and they settled on her head and shoulders.

This time,

the girl didn’t shake them off.

Death

They say

finding one crow is bad luck,

two meant good luck,

three meant health,

four meant wealth,

but five signified approaching sickness,

and six meant that death was nearby.

This may explain

why the girl had a crow perched on each shoulder,

one on her head,

and three moving when she moved.

Six crows flocking her,

as she dug a giant pit

with dozens of other campers.

Six crows flying away,

when the men opened fire

and killed the people.

Honorable Mention Poems