2023 Winner

Insights I have learned so far

My mind will wander to lands my feet will never touch

and I’ll sleep with one eye open waiting for death,

his presence lurking behind every corner I turn

Change will come and go and is, as everyone says,

the only constant.

I wasted too much time here

Regret begs with me, pleads with me;

Why did you wait for death

And forget to live? The slow burn

Of a lingering fire

Fighting with all its will to maintain its flame,

Only finding peace in death.


My grandfather calls for his mother in his sleep

In a foreign land and alone with the night.

Life is always changing, my grandmother says of this

He remains his observant self,

But more so in his sleep


He taught me — Insights he has learned so far —

Life is suffering, And that cannot change

And it must not defeat us or define us.

No matter what it goes by too fast

You call again for your mother,

An ocean away and long gone

You’re so forgetful these days.

In a foreign land that remains a foreign place fifty years later

And still alone.


The slow burn of a lingering fire

Your feet stuck in mud

And eyes looking up to heaven

You call for your mother there,

Fighting with all your will to maintain

Your flame. Will you find your peace?


Priya Grab

Georgetown Day School

Grade: 11


Chevy Chase, MD


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

My favorite poet is Joy Harjo and my favorite book is Normal People by Sally Rooney.

Dream for the Future:

My dream for my future is to find a profession that makes me happy and ideally continue writing poetry.

Inspirational Figure:

I am very inspired by my grandmother as well as both of my parents.