Poetry, Grades 7 – 9: First Place
12th Avenue — Hannah Bernstein
City lights running
against dark houses, bathed
in the glow of the yellow
streetlight. Sitting on the corner of
56th and 12th, I’ve never felt so alive
as I do right now.
the dust in the air breathes
me and illuminates
speckles of time, spread out
over a millennia of voices.
speaking in unison, saying
you can run away from
12th avenue, far into the light
but there’s something
about this place, here, now.
my soul’s tied up in here,
my cold, ghostly breath stays here, now.
on the corner of 56th and 12th.
still breathing, illuminating.
and sometimes, that darkness beats,
one, two, and it pings, like a
bell, a door, an alarm, a warning.
a sign, a call, a cry.
here, now, 56th and 12th is
breathing in you, me, here, now.
past the glowing circle made by that
streetlight. There may be only that
but somewhere, out there, here, now
12th avenue waits.