2014 Poetry contest winner
2014 Kids Summer Poetry Contest Winner
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!”