Poetry, Grades 10 – 12: Second Place

Oh Grandma Dear — Kayla Goldfarb

Oh Grandma dear you’ve built your nest
And are bound to bury yourself there,
Amidst the scent of true regret
And dusty gray despair.

Are newspapers from ’94
The ones you can’t throw out?
To give them up would shatter you
And splinter you with doubt.

You’ve lost yourself or truer yet
It’s they who have lost you
The logical and reason bound
Make claims to what you knew.

And stacked on high are photographs
Still wrapped in cellophane.
You won’t admit she’s beautiful
That woman with your name.

A nervous tick and twisting hands
Immaculate and soft
You haven’t left the house in years
I wonder what it’d cost.

A penny less, a penny more
To see you smile again.
“I love you and I miss you still”
Yet sullen you remain.

Not even now but further back
You linger in the past.
Emotional and delicate,
Your world is made of glass.

But less a world and more a cage
That you’ve built on your own.
From shame ingrained you drew away
And nested in your home.

Dismissal in the sharpest cast
Clipped feathers from your wings.
An addled mind then locked you up,
The gentle bird won’t sing.

The gentle bird won’t dare to fly
Or look beyond the night.
In hopelessness and misery
The gentle bird fears flight.

And that is all you are my dear
Oh Grandma, whom I love.
A gentle bird, but sad inside,
A lonely, broken dove.