Runner-up in the grade 7/8/9 section – Tessa Yu’s poem, “Return to Wetlands”


Return to Wetlands

by Tessa Yu, from St. Michael’s Collegiate


Fresh, salt air penetrates my skin, 

filling my lungs with clear crispness. 


Here, where my childhood was built; 

upon rocks caked with moss, 

amongst deep brown sludge 

seeping between my toes, 

in the cool, fresh water 

where I’d wash each day away 

like it was nothing more than a speck of dirt. 


Memories reflect 

off the clear blue water 

which glistens, 

gleaming in the afternoon sun, 

rippling gently in the breeze. 


Rocks coated in rich, velvety moss 

where I, a young child once, stood 

ruling as far as the eye could see 

now sit, dreary and bare 

a fragile reminder of those fearless days.


I am not the ruler of the land anymore, 

days resulting in more stains 

than a simple swim could wash away, 

yet here, 

in this moment, 

I know a part of that young child lives on, 

here amongst the wetlands.


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