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

2021 Winner


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

Anna Shesol

Anna Shesol

Georgetown Day School

Grade: 9


Northwest DC


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Dream for the Future:


Inspirational Figure:

My parents