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

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

2021 Winner

Too Afraid to Come Out

Fear hides in the shadows,

too afraid to come out.

Fear wears a sweatshirt and sweatpants.

He thinks that wearing thick clothes makes him look bigger and feel less afraid.

It doesn’t.

Fear is so afraid of doing something wrong,

he never comes out of his shell.

He thinks if he lives by himself with no friends, no family, he won’t make any mistakes.

He does.

Fear lives in a cave: a deep, dark, daunting cave,

Too afraid to step out into the unknown and unsafe world.

Fear has given up hope.

They separated a long time ago.

Hope said they were better off by themselves.

She left that day.

The day courage turned into fear.

Fear locked himself in a cage.

Too afraid to come out.

The bars were thick, cold and spaced close together.

He put the key outside the cage.

He stayed there for as long as anyone can remember.

One day fear dreamt of being with hope.

His one true love.

He wanted her back.

Her long blonde hair,

her magic touch.

He wanted to see her again.

He wanted to give her a call.

There was only one problem,

he couldn’t get out of the cage. He was too afraid.

He had given up.

He had lost all hope.

Until one day, he reached for the key.

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Brennan Kneller

Brennan Kneller

Sidwell Friends School

Grade: 6