40th Annual Parkmont Poetry Festival: Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

2021 Winner

Candles

Birthdays pile up

And time slips away

 

Each year the cake crowds

With another candle

Planted in the strong roots

Of the honey-sweet dessert

 

I sit in the same chair

I sing the same song

But each year feels different

A little older

A little wiser

A little changed

 

Each candle pulls

And scrapes away another inch

Of the familiarity

That I hold so close

That I rely on

That I need

 

I hold my breath as I wish

But the uninvited arms of fear

Wrap around my mind

That can’t help but wonder

 

What will it be like this time next year?

What will I be like?

Will I still be me?

 

The flames dance in my eyes

Flickering as if to promise

That they’ll stay

That they’ll be here for me

 

The warm light meets my cheeks

As I lean in

 

I squeeze my eyes tightly

Afraid that this all

Could be blown out

With a mere breath

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Anna Shesol

Anna Shesol

Georgetown Day School

Grade: 9

Hometown:

Northwest DC

Birthplace:

Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Dream for the Future:

Journalist

Inspirational Figure:

My parents