Fourth Place

Savannah Sichelstiel

Grade 9

Haddonfield Memorial High School

Teacher: Ms. Holly Maiese


An Account Adrift the Greenery


I once got lost in a wooded forest

And I couldn’t find my way back home, because the Sun had gotten drunk on the clouds and he passed out earlier than I had expected

The moon took over for him, but her light was no help either because she was tired from dancing away the past night with the stars

As I continued through the forest, I asked everyone I saw if they knew the way back home

When I asked the trees, their branches answered me all at once and pointed in all different directions

When I asked the leaves, they threatened that if I woke them again they’d cut off my oxygen

When I asked the weeds, they screamed for me to take them with me, but when I tried to rip them from the Earth their roots laughed at me and refused to budge

When I asked the dirt, he moaned of an achy back and rambled on about how rude it was of me to trample all over him every day

When I asked the sudden rain, her drops didn’t have enough time to answer me before falling to their inevitable explosions at my feet

When I asked the mud that those broken rain drops formed, it answered me in a thick and murky accent that I couldn’t possibly understand

And as I kept on my wandering journey, a hissing bolt of lightning struck the ground before me, warning me not to take another step

The abrupt thunder sang with the sky above me

And a realization dawned upon me

I realized that if I retraced my footsteps

And asked everyone who I had previously for the way home again

They would see my persistence and answer in my favor

So I found my way back to the trees and asked them for the way home

Their branches looked at me in surprise and all turned to point in one direction

I took off in that direction

The leaves that I rustled along the way didn’t curse me for waking their slumber, but merely yawned and nodded to me as I darted past them

The weeds, dodging my feet as I pounded the ground around them, cheered me on, their roots cheering with them

The dirt didn’t complain of his achy back, and he even flattened himself to make my path smoother

The rain stopped falling because the sky stopped crying to watch my galloping legs in awe

The mud urged me on my way, this time speaking in a clearer accent so my feet wouldn’t get caught in the thick of him

Remaining steady on my trek through the forest, I eventually came to a clearing, separating the boisterous woodland from the rest of the world

And toward the end of that clearing, I laid eyes upon a little cottage

My little cottage

And after a journey filled with many, many encounters

I finally found my way back home