Grand Prize Winner:
($250 plus poem will appear on Cabot Butter Box)
Where Does Joy Come From?
By Ansley G. (Grade 8, Spartanburg, SC)
To fill a bag with clothes and with food
Is to fill a heart with life and vitality;
A blue cotton coat to wrap 'round cold children,
Makes you see life in pure clarity.
Life is not simply the years you have lived;
Life is not only reaching for dreams;
Life is the essence of bringing joy,
It shines and it shimmers just like sunbeams.
Sometimes it's said that giving is hard,
But I tell you that truly, it is not;
For when you give, this feeling of wellness
Arises deep within your heart.
It glistens and glimmers and then bursting forth,
Broadens a smile upon your face;
You know that your life has brought joy to another
And that is a feeling you cannot replace.
2nd Place Winner:
($100 cash prize)
Every Story Starts with a Song
By Erin L. (Grade 8, Tallahassee, FL)
Walking toward the sleek ebony piano, black as midnight,
Past the wrinkled faces of the story tellers watching me,
I sit on the smooth bench in the empty living room of the nursing home,
Ready to share my gift with them,
Give them the gift of music,
First hesitant touches, rhythmic strokes on the ivory keys,
Then... losing myself to the music.
Many songs later, I turn,
And staring at me are dozens of gathered storytellers drawn by the sound...
A pair of old eyes hold my gaze,
And in them I see...
That man, age fifteen, at a dance
Falling for her for the first time, dancing to the tune I just played,
Twenty-three, on one knee in front of that same woman from years ago,
Twenty-five, arm around the woman with a young cooing child,
Fifty-nine, surrounded by grandchildren,
Seventy-seven, holding her pale, trembling hand while she takes her last breath,
All this in a second,
Starting with a song.