Second Place

Grace Schaffer

Grade 9

Haddonfield Memorial High School

Teacher: Ms. Holly Maiese


In Retrospect


Little yellowed photographs withered with age

They turn back the clock, brittle breaking bones melding back together

Sagging, jaundiced skin becomes soft and smooth again

Though the eyes of the camera lens,

watch the rolls of baby fat melt away, as you start to stringbean out

Gawkish at first, metal-mouthed and four-eyed

A voice becomes deeper, curves are filled out… little changes

A metamorphosis

See the glow of youth and a bright-eyed smile

A first love, captured in a picture

sneaking out at night in the pitch black dark,

the only light from fireflies and the headlight that is the moon

A midnight picnic in the middle of sticky July

Eating sickly-sweet strawberries and sharing a kiss

A graduation where caps are flung into the bright sky,

and swallowed up by the sun

A room full of unpacked boxes


the first time away from your parents for such a long period

There is a sense of freedom in jumping from the nest

But homesickness anchors and pulls down

Hot tears stain a pillow, but you’ll learn to fly

Nights of lamplights and studying lead to yet another flushed cheek graduation

A book is closed

Memory lane has been flooded

Maybe you’ll walk down this crooked path another day

In retrospect; looking back

There are things that could have been changed, decisions altered

But today the worn down cobblestone path of remembering is enough.