Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2020 Winner

The Dawning

When the sky is a dark navy

And you hear noises

A deep low growl that was probably your father’s snores

And you see a shape in the night that’s probably your old stuffed animal

But your stuffed animal didn’t have those bright yellow eyes

Did it

And your stuffed animal didn’t look at you with a hunger that even a starving man couldn’t feel

Did it

It has begun

The dawning

Soon you will see bright sharp teeth

Teeth like none you’ve ever seen

Like the finest ivory

Smooth and elegant, coming to a graceful point

glistening lethally in the moonlight

bared in malevolence

And hear the sound

dark wings spreading wide with a rustle and a shake

But as the sky turns from navy

to purple

to light lavender


That thing

Goes away

It retreats

back under the bed

Back into your head

And what was the horror of your night

Is your mother shaking you awake

But the next night it comes back

Angry and hungry


But skeletal

knocking on death’s door

One last meal

you hear it say in a voice that was probably the creak of your bed

Low and sure you say

go away

Let me sleep

in a voice masking fear

It has begun

The dawning

The dawning of courage

With you

You who used your

voice to fight

The monster under the bed

The fear in your head

so tomorrow when

It returns

It will be nothing more than a nightmare

As weak

As your





And dead


Laurel Eliot Wright Strong

Sidwell Friends School

Grade: 6


Somerset, MD


Silver Spring, MD

Favorite Author or Book:

Roald Dahl

Dream for the Future:

I want to be an actress

Inspirational Figure:

Well… technically she’s not 18 yet, but she is very inspiring. I’d have to say my sister Ava.