2012 National Finalist

I am from adventure, exploration
Heat and grass.
From the blistering summer sun.
Cracked earth and a splintery wooden porch.
I am from dried grass in my field
And collecting bugs in jam jars.
I am from questions, wood smoke, yarrow,
From a snow covered ground and Ladybug plants.
I am from imagination
And hours spent under a porch.
I am from the pumpkin and tadpoles.
Love and hate and hide away.

I am from dusty arenas and horses.
From swaying forests that go on and on.
I am from bodacious wilderness, the untamed
And plains of nothingness.
I am from daydreams and no TV,
From pie, sitting alone, Santa Ana’s
And sunrooms.
I am from layered bloomers, Cuyamaca Lake,
Hikes and climbing boulders.
I am from stickers in a drawer, Summer Dog
And fairy pancakes for a circle.
I am from Quartz, tree climbing,
And hours spent in the dirt.
I am from magic, make believe and water.

I am from unknowing, new family,
And culture.
From traveling the world, castles,
Millions of gardens,
And natural wonders.
I am from Christmas, Thanksgiving,
and homemade Halloweens.
From meditation, quiet, and inner peace.
From the theory learn fast,
understand more, sand paper letters,
Animals and respect.
I am from paint and a chisel,
“Up on the Roof”,
And a nailing stump.

I am from The Ranch, late nights and
Business calls.
From parks, museums,
And antique Japanese stuff.

I am from sun, San Diego, and the beach.
From surf camps, sand, pools and tandem.
I am from Spanish, Horatio,
And goldfish.

I am from spicy, plain, and piles.
From crunch, fresh cut carrots, and salad.
I am from tastes, picky to perfection and
New flavors.
From free range chicken, Mexican rice and fajitas.
I am from fud, toad food, and Fred.

I am from cold nights, long days, wet muddy fields.
From apples thrown from a window
I am from pelting rain, the earthy smell of dirt and rot,
From green and hedged lanes.
I am from endless fields, amazing sunsets
And hidden beaches.
From Blackpool Sands, pubs, trees
And the Dart.
I am from dripping leaves, moss
And seasons.
I am from the moors, warm rooms,
And ironing beads.
From radiators and the gurgles,
Form smelly pens, jet lag
And story tapes.
I am from the Dawn Treader, Pippin and Tom,
From trampolines, seed-copters, war memorials,
And slow worms.
I am from Ballet, Dartmouth baked beans on toast,
And prawn and cocktail.
I am from muddy walks, farm roads, and headlands.
From tea shops, Dartmoor ponies, B&B’s
And from heather, gorse, and bracken.

I am from the earth, connecting
In every way I can.
A leaf collection, broken porcelain,
A pound found
Under a rainbow.
Everything everywhere I am connected.
A twin in Berber Village,
My mark on a distant, mountain pine.
I have roots everywhere.
A million faces of family
And friends
That fade away with time and then
Reappear with provoked memories
And déjà vu.
Only to fade away into
The corner of my mind.
A thousand summer days,
that dissipate into
                     The tapestry of my life.                        


Ember Brightwood, age 13
Mill Valley, California

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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