The following tied for third place in the Poetry division of the Walter Spara Writing Contest sponsored by the Department of English and Communications in the spring semester, 2012.
He covered his mouth to hush
the panting breaths he took.
Leaning his bare back against
the shed, he re-formed his small hand
and placed a finger to his lips, asking
a nearby rooster not to give away his position.
His toes sank in cool clay as he stepped
beyond the shadow to peek around the
side of the building.
Sunlight flooded the unhidden portion
of his face, filtering golden flecks
into his usually brown eye.
Every muscle he could use worked
to take him away from the place
that once meant safety.
His hair became blonde as it dried
in the wind through which he raced.
His cheeks, sore of smiling,
filled with air as he jumped
past the plants and into the pond.
Gasping when he reached the surface,
he laughed and taunted the others from afar.
For as long as they couldn’t catch him,
He would play.