Skipping Stones magazine

Vol. 15, No. 4

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Youth Honor Awards 2003

Illustration by Nina Forsberg

Dear Ocean

You are all that is special to me.
My life, my home, my brother, and my friend.
I ride your waves and play 'till you bring me to
Your storm docks on these rainy days
When I cannot come out and play.
You dry my tear-streaked cheeks with your ocean
Your cool waters are a relief against the burning
And for every birthday, you give me a gift
From your treasure chest that is stored beneath
your waters,
Like a star that falls from the sky,
Or a lifeless seahorse the color of a sapphire stone.
You soften the sands nearest you so I can be
Just watching you gleam
Like a crystal in the early hours of the day makes
me smile.
You even brought your fellow sea friends to play
alongside me.
Like a seahorse chillin' in your garden of
Or the curious dolphin that
Danced on your surface with delight.
But it saddens me to hear
That you will no longer be my home.
For I shall be whisked away
With the wind to another place.
A world without the friend
Who sparkles like yesterday's gold and shares
The secrets that live on the deepest parts of the
ocean floor
A life without you my, friend
The Ocean.

-- Mariel Martinez, 14, Mexican American, Hewlett, NY. She writes, "My most favorite hobby, besides soccer, is swimming and that's what my poem is about, the ocean. I don't necessarily live near the ocean but consider it my second home during summer months and hate leaving it when summer turns into fall. I feel like it is my older brother. A calm feeling washes over me when I'm in the water. The waves crash over me, sweeping my troubles, taking them back to the sea."

A Tree that Blooms in the Winter

I am a tree that blooms in the winter.
If you see me during the early summer months,
bare and lifeless
beside the fragile radiance
of others,
you will only call me an oddity.
I know that you won't stop to run your fingers
across the unique rivulets of my bark,
to feel my sap rising, warm and green and alive,
through every branch and twig.

But it will not matter.

One day,
Long after the leaves of the cherries, plums, and
dogwoods have been shredded through the grass
by an autumn wind,
you will walk in the woods again.
Through a network of brittle branches,
you will see me blooming,
my blossoms bright as the summer sun, and
brighter, for only I
can bloom against the snow.
You will shake your head and stare,
marveling at this enigma, and perhaps wonder
how many of the trees you failed to see
when you first walked through the forest
on an early summer day.

But you should not be so surprised. There in the frozen wood, I will merely be rejoicing -- because I am an oddity, I am an enigma, I am a tree that blooms in the winter.

-- Ann Pedtke, 15, Laingsburg, Michigan. Ann writes, "I have been homeschooled all my life... I plan to be a professional writer one day."



Skipping Stones Magazine
Volume 15, No. 4, Page 12

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