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

2021 Winner

Darkness is Easier

When the wind blows, it bites my cheeks, it stings and tosses me about.

But far worse, is when it stops.

And the aching silence is gray-misted with cold, acid dew.

When there is only me; the retreat in my mind, of weakness and imagination.

When all I can do is drown in everything that could have been, every sin that tears at my heart.

When the flowering song of life seems to slip away into the dark, clouded water, and I gasp for air.

How hard is it, to ask for help, how hard to admit…

I am scared.

When you feel the pull of dishonesty,

Would it not be infinitely easier to toss the chains of morality away?

And then I remember. The ones who submit to the pull…

are the ones who make my heart ache like it will never stop.

They tear away at tender emotions.

They break your humanity, until you slip into the darkness after them.

Sometimes I try to hide.

It finds you faster if you hide.

It smells fear, but it senses bravery.

When the time comes… I know I can’t be ready.

But I can open my heart…

And I can sing.

Johanna Kempe

Johanna Kempe

Whittle School and Studios

Grade: 7