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

2021 Winner

An Ode to the Shoes of Summer

Boots stained with mud,

legs strained under the weight of heavy packs.

Sounds of nature,

the screaming of birds, a barking of a dog.

The smell of sweat and look of exhaustion.


Running shoes pounding pavement,

legs wear loose fitting jeans,

Sounds of the city,

The screaming of police sirens and a lockdown.

The smell of fear and look of excitement and adventure.


Vans stained with blood and kitchen grease

Legs draped in work jeans strain under the weights

      of a kitchen apron, a knife, and a notepad.

Sounds of the Kitchen

Screams of “Vamos, gringo” and

      “What’s wrong kid, never been burned before?”

The smell of excitement and look of reward

      from receiving a full paycheck.


Bare feet, caked in mud, spotted with blisters,

      and cut open from broken glass.

Legs water-colored in spotty brown from the river.

Sounds of the roaring river.

Screams of excitement from teenagers who dive from cliffs.

The stench of the muddy river intermixed

      with sweat and adrenalin.

James Gnecco

James Gnecco

Gonzaga College High School

Grade: 12