“The Forest,” by K.M.
Every day this week, The Imprint is publishing the winners from this year’s Words Unlocked Poetry Competition. The contest is held each year by BreakFree Education, and features the work of students in juvenile facilities around the country.
Today we feature one this year’s Second Place finishers: The Forest, written by K.M. at Morton School in Nebraska.
I walk, hearing the running water upon the land
Lives disappear behind old oak trees, reaching high above me
Where they’re no longer visible to the human eye
Studying the life that wanders the forest where I now lurk,
I look high and low for the creatures who still roam
Near the treetops and rivers and ponds
In the forest, I wander
This year’s winning poems were selected by a group of 35 volunteer judges. The final judges for the Words Unlocked Poetry Competition were a group of distinguished poets and essayists that our friends at the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.
The theme for this year’s competition was “Coexistence”:
“Existing together and at the same time; living in peace with each other. The strength of human bonds, across different backgrounds and divides, is powerful. While we cannot choose whether or not to live with others, we can choose how we want to do so. When we embrace tolerance, respect, and forgiveness, when we focus our relationships on shared meaning, we find success.”
BreakFree Education’s mission is to radically improve education in the juvenile and criminal justice systems by investing in the potential and dignity of all its students. To learn more about the Words Unlocked Poetry Competition and BreakFree Education’s poetry-writing curriculum for juvenile facilities, click here.