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.

Samantha Shields



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.


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