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

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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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