First Prize, Poetry, 18 and under

Maria Choi 

Winter Rain


It’s been eighteen years since we

last saw each other.

Eighteen hours since I last

felt the cold seep through my window

like a living thing

Cobweb of raindrops on the other side of the world

trickling into the palm of your hand

then down my wrists.

It’s been twenty-two days

since I got the car back.

Taking steps by the dozen

seemed like the easy way

with you. Speeding at yellow lights,

braking at red ones, cruising at the green.

What seemed ordinary – you took

and molded in your hands. Look at this

– you say And be amazed.

It’s been a century

since I was amazed:

by the sun gleaming unparalleled

in the rest of a world of coal.

You were my sun

and mine alone.

It’s been fourteen hours

since they said “Don’t worry”,

It won’t get easier,

But it’ll get better.

But what if I don’t know

if I can get “better”?

It’s been a season and half

since you left.

The dead leaves fall like skulls,

summer bees say their goodbyes.

It’s a delicate thing

— glass raindrops hovering from

naked branches

whispering when winter winds

whittle them to kindling

nothing more.

It’s been the space between

my breath and yours

You, petty thief,

Master of disguises and show tricks.

Spraying a little sparkle into my eyes

Never seemed to warp your consciousness.

It’s been an hour

and two seconds

since I first realized

that I no longer remember the way home.

Maria Choi_Author Photo (2)Maria Choi is inspired by the intricate relationship between the arts and the sciences. She has written two novels and founded her school’s first writing club. Maria has received the John Hasselfield Endowment Scholarship and Old Scona Academic’s Creative Writing Scholarship to further her artistic pursuits. In addition, she was awarded the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta’s Behavioral Sciences Award at the Edmonton Regional Science Fair. Maria can often be found exploring a world of her own creation and constantly searches for meaning in the mundane and the tragic. She will be attending the University of Alberta in the fall.


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