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Amber Harris

1st Place Long Poetry

Breathe in

Breathe out



The only thing that let me know she was alive

was the beeping heart rate monitor by her bed.

Every now and then I could hear her take

a deep breath in her oxygen mask.


Breathe in

Breathe out



They said she would be gone by morning

and I refused to look at her,

the frail skeleton of a woman

who once had rosy cheeks and infectious laughter   

now looks like she would shatter at a single touch.


Breathe in

Breathe out



They say that hearing is the last thing to go,

that she could be listening to us and unable to respond,

and this  haunted me more than the

ugly groan from the machine.

Could she really hear us?


Breathe in

Breathe out



Did she hear the nurses talking about her,

how she had less than a day to live,

or how her heart would stop any minute now?

Could she hear  her loved ones dread?

Did she hear her family cry?


Breathe in

Breathe out



Was she at peace with all this information

or did she just want us to shut the hell up?

Did she take comfort in the voices that bounced from walls

or was she a trapped in her own head, mentally covering her ears,

with no way of voicing her concerns or fear?


I couldn’t bring myself to look at her.



Sonnet for the Rain 

Samara Roberts

1st Place Short Poetry

There is no sea nor sand, the creek is dead

for miles. I press my hand into dry ground.

The crackled grass pin pricks my palm and red

is all the world. Then everything abounds

in gray. The somber song of pregnant clouds

is calling Earth to open silently

her caverns, thundering throughout so loud

the roots are wet with sound. So violently

they scream and stretch until the sky

releases gentle tears of rain. The green

familiar ring of music cools my spine

and all the stones around me seem to gleam.

The mud is marriage – earth and sky – they lay

Supine and wish the gray was here to stay.

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