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First Place, Poetry, Grade 7-9: The Night Sky

Hannah Watkins

When the stars come sweeping in,

The day is gone; the night begins.

Snow whisper-falls on flying skis,

Mittened hands brush ancient trees.

The dogs are near; their feet are light.

Their fur is smooth in the dark of night.

Their loyal footsteps linger close

To me, their shapes like great black ghosts.

The trees leave us when we reach the lake,

A small sea of dark snow in the empty space.

Footprints of a moose who has led us since light,

Return to the woods, his job done for tonight.

Warm and dry I am in my good winter coat,

Only my skis and boots are soaked.

But the best feeling here is my face, chill and bare,

Out in the night in the Aurora-filled air.

As we fly over the ice, warm and cool, limbs light,

The joy of the ski rings in the cold night.

A snow-embraced cabin comes into sight,

I say goodbye to the stars for tonight.

By Hannah Watkins