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

2021 Winner

In and Out

On the other side of now

I will celebrate friendships

The strength of bonds that couldn’t be broken

Even through the vicious outbreak of isolation

I’ll celebrate the bond that did break, the necessary cutting of ties

And I’ll buy new clothes that don’t tear so easily

Sew stronger ties, possibly repair a few ripped ones, too

I’ll stitch them together with my aching hands

The adrenaline racing through my veins

Just like I used to run, breathlessly, around on the playground


On the other side of now

There will be the sweet aroma of a Chipotle bowl after school

The sight of old friends on the bus

The delicious taste of Papa John’s for Tuesday lunch

And hot oozing Domino’s cheese on Thursdays


On the other side of now

I’ll have my 16th birthday party surrounded by friends and family

The sound of a big celebration, happy voices, cheers

Tight hugs and face-to-face interactions


On the other side of now

I’ll have several full Funko sets

My figurines staring at me from the corner of the room

Reminding me of my diversified taste in TV shows


On the other side of now

I can share a warm welcome with everyone I pass

as the day goes by

Smile with the baristas at Starbucks,

The bus drivers,

My neighbors,


On the other side of now…

I’ll be myself again

Yanna Contee-Jones

Yanna Contee‑Jones

Parkmont School

Grade: 9


Columbia Heights


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

Her by Pierre A Jeanty

Dream for the Future:

I want to be a world renowned chef and start my own restaurant chain.

Inspirational Figure:

Matthew McClain, a teacher at my school