2014 Po­etry con­test win­ner

2014 Kids Sum­mer Po­etry Con­test Win­ner

Kids Summer - - Inside - By Kendi King

Kendi King, 12, is the win­ner of last year’s Kids Sum­mer Po­etry Con­test. The chal­lenge was to cre­ate a poem in which each line be­gins with the let­ter of the al­pha­bet, start­ing with A and end­ing with Z. Ad­di­tion­ally, one line had to have just one word and an­other line had to have ex­actly 100 words. Con­grat­u­la­tions, Kendi!

And so there I was.

Bal­anc­ing over Niagara Falls on an inch-thick rope.

Cur­rents of wind threat­ened to shove me into the rush­ing wa­ter be­neath.


Ethan, my older brother, called from the other side.

For two hours Ethan inched across the rope un­til he reached the other side. I’d been on for one hour and wasn’t any­where close to half­way.

Gi­ant drops of wa­ter sprayed me, soak­ing my en­tire body.

“Hurry up!” Ethan yelled im­pa­tiently.

I stum­bled for­ward, then stopped as the rope be­gan to shake vi­o­lently. This had all been my dad’s idea. He was a pro­fes­sional tightrope walker. He’d crossed Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, and other cross­ings only a mad man would at­tempt, and he wanted his sons to fol­low in his foot­steps. Ethan, who was only four­teen, was as fa­mous as my dad for his tightrope stunts, whereas I was known for mak­ing it half­way then turn­ing back. My dad al­ways said to try again next time, but I didn’t want a next time. The truth is, I’m afraid of heights.

Just be­cause my dad and brother were heights dare­dev­ils didn’t mean I was. Yet ap­par­ently that’s what ev­ery­one ex­pected.

“Keep go­ing!” Ethan yelled over the roar­ing wa­ter.

Lots of voices yelled out at me, some en­cour­ag­ing me, oth­ers rush­ing me to hurry be­fore our time on TV was over.

My heart thud­ded in my chest as I took an­other set of cau­tious steps for­ward.

“No!” I yelled as I started to lose my bal­ance. “Dad, I can’t do this!”

On the other side my dad shook his head and shrugged his shoul­ders; he couldn’t hear me.

Peo­ple yelled at me to re­peat what I’d said, and I con­tin­ued to yell with no re­sponse. Only cu­ri­ous glances and shrugs.

“Quit yelling and come over here!” my dad said through a mega­phone; he was los­ing his pa­tience.

Roar­ing wind threat­ened to top­ple me over as I con­tin­ued for­ward, try­ing not to look down.

Sud­denly, a strong gust of wind pushed at me and my legs slipped from be­neath me. In one swift move I was fall­ing. Tum­bling, tum­bling, tum­bling as I clawed des­per­ately at the air. I belted out a cry of an­guish be­fore my body slammed into the net.

“That’s a wrap!” the direc­tor yelled, as one of his as­sis­tants helped me from the net

“Uriah” the direc­tor called me by my real name, “that was your best take yet! When we do some edit­ing and make that green screen re­ally look like Niagara Falls, no one will be able to tell the dif­fer­ence!” The direc­tor smiled and handed me a towel to wipe the wa­ter from the mist fans off my face.

“Very re­al­is­tic scream by the way!” he smiled, be­fore walk­ing to a cam­era­man and say­ing some­thing.

“Well ev­ery­one, that was a great take but we’re go­ing to do it one more time just to be sure,” the direc­tor said, and I heard a few groans, but soon ev­ery­one was back in place.

“Xavier, help Uriah get up that lad­der, please,” the direc­tor said, and Xavier strapped on my nearly in­vis­i­ble safety cords be­fore I climbed up.

Yolanda switched on the mist fans and I walked out onto the rope, my safety cords mak­ing it so I don’t fall off un­til my cue.

“Zero, one, two, three AC­TION!”

Ka­toosha / Shuttersto­ck.com

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