The 41st Annual Parkmont Poetry Festival will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2023.

The submissions deadline is Friday, February 17, 2023.

2022 Winner

Seventeen Too

What would I get if I shot three and killed two?

Maybe a cell, twenty years, probably a shot to the head for acting like a fool.

 

With an AR-15, how would I be met?

I can’t even walk around in a hoodie without being seen as a threat.

 

Me walking to a protest with an assault rifle, you could only pray that I stay alive,

You see, when you look like me, that’s called suicide.

But even if I made it out, surely the courtroom would be my demise.

 

Would the judge say the people I killed weren’t victims?

Wouldn’t everyone speak up and contradict him?

 

I’m seventeen too but no doubt they’d see me as a grown man.

I know they wouldn’t sympathize if I dared to cry on the stand.

If I had pulled the trigger, would strangers send me millions for my defense plan?

I think instead they would see my actions as a capital offense to reprimand.

 

Would congressmen offer me internships while still on trial?

If I killed two, would I be seen as a hero, like Kyle?

Will there be change or will these stories continue to compile?

Two steps forward and then we seem to go backwards two hundred miles.

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Kadari Machen

Gonzaga College High School

Grade: 12

Hometown:

Silver Spring, MD

Birthplace:

Columbia, MD

Favorite Author or Book:

Aubrey Graham

Dream for the Future:

To make the world a more loving, honest place.

Inspirational Figure:

My brothers, Jelani and Bijan