Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2021 Winner

Pink Sundress

I didn’t hear it at first.

I was eleven, worn flip-flops

and scarred knees, waiting on the bench outside

for my mother to finish her hair. A car driving by—

I heard the wheels and then the shouting, unintelligible at first

and then I understood. They were loud, and I was so

alone, eleven years old in my pink sundress with the big pockets

and fifty cents extra change burning a hole in them,

the shame of my own body burning two holes

in my cheeks. The rain

was suspended in the air, invisible droplets

brushing up against my skin; it was only

a matter of time.

Leila Jackson

Leila Jackson

Georgetown Day School

Grade: 11


Washington, DC


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

Elizabeth Acevedo

Dream for the Future:

I want to spend my life doing something I love and I want to be as happy as I can, as often as I can.

Inspirational Figure:

My parents are my biggest inspiration because of how far they’ve come, how hard they work, and the sacrifices they consistently make for me and our family.