First Prize, Poetry, 18 and under
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
whispering when winter winds
whittle them to kindling
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 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.