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

2021 Winner

What About the Children?

They say children are the future,

so why don’t they act like it?


Say their names:

Tamir Rice

Michael Brown


Children in cages,

separated from their parents.


Drinking brown colored water,

filled with lead.


Because of the color of their skin?


Not safe to go to school:

Sandy Hook

Marjory Stoneman Douglas


Because our country loves its guns more than its youth?


Distance learning,

but no internet in some homes

no desks for others,

no quiet place to learn.


Restaurants are open,

but not schools


Because our country values food over books?


California is on fire.

The world keeps getting hotter.

Smog and pollution everywhere.


Because our country is ignoring Greta Thunberg?


They say children are the future

so why don’t they act like it?


If children could vote:

No child would go hungry.

Children would live in homes and not cages.

All children would learn.

Black lives would matter.

School would be a safe place.

We would all breathe clean air.

We would all drink clean water.


Children are the future;

let’s start acting like it!

Riya Mehta

Riya Mehta

Sidwell Friends School

Grade: 6


Bethesda, MD


Philidelphia, PA

Favorite Author or Book:

My favorite book is The Night Diary

Dream for the Future:

I dream for equality and justice for every person.

Inspirational Figure:

The person who inspires me the most is my mother.