2017 Winner


Angry aubades



They tower above me and I can’t seem to hold my breath to let them pass

My stomach feels sick

The noise gets louder

My chest can’t stop beating and buzzing long enough for me to breathe

The sunshine feels hot on my back but the water would pull me down

So I settle for the sun


I’m feeling the sky on my bare skin

and the trees have more depth than a blanket of leaves and bark

The trees are towers


And coliseums built and caving in together

The ground is made of stars if you pick the right pieces

If you follow lights and let your eyes weave through seas of brown and green to find something that shines under pressure


I don’t pack pain in my punches

I am soft and forgiving

Flowers grow under my fingertips but

All you see is a weapon

Give me daisies in my hair and let me sleep

Let me murmur to the dawn

Melting syrup of a skyline

Sharp bodies and light air

Something soft

Something hated

Something helpful


Beds of pink and blue

Yellow blankets are warm in late morning sun

I’m drowning myself in pillows and sunlight

The hum of my movement sending vibration in the air

Tiers of green are all the same until you’re small enough to see them closely

I am soft

And light

But when bumblebees are only bumblebees

And men feel fury in their fingers

Sometimes bumblebees end up under boots


Mary Kate Wilson

Washington Latin Public Charter School

Grade: 9


Chevy Chase, DC


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb; Adrienne Rich’s poems

Dream for the Future:

To become a journalist and raise awareness for social issues.

Inspirational Figure:

My older brother