National PTSA Reflections Competition:

“Grandmother”  – Advanced to the IPPC Level, District 36 Level

“Window Sill” – Advanced to the IPPC Level, District 36 Level, State of Illinois Level


Creative Communications Spring 2010 Poetry Contest:

“Window Sill” – Selected for High Merit; Published in A Celebration of Poets 2010.


Neuqua Valley High School’s Literary Magazine — The Essence:

Star Baby” – Published 2009-2010


Her hand is cold in mine, and I can’t keep the tears from falling. I feel her prominent veins, blue and bruised, and her skin like paper, flimsy and light and decorated with dots of age and faded squiggly arteries. And I wish I could tell her to hold on. My family is here, all crying, and my mother is a mess of mascara and prayers. We’re all holding hands in a circle around her bed, and I can feel my sister’s heartbeat in my palm, and the gentle thud of my grandmother’s heart in my other. Her hands are soft and gentle. She is calm and beautiful despite the tubes running in her, and through her, to the beeping machines that keep her alive. Her breathing is steady, but light, and the only sound is the heart monitor in the quiet of the room. Her eyes are closed and she cannot speak. Her pastel skin accents the tuft of white hair across her face. She is beautiful. I wait, as sounds become muffled and stillness is all we hear. Her aching heart beats slower now. Seconds drag on, until the last drum-and all is silent.  Beauty is my grandmother, serene and unafraid.


Window sill.

Beauty is the sunlight.

It flits across my bedspread in the morning

when nothing speaks,

but the singing birds

and the quiet blanket of dew.

When the sounds of morning begin to appear

and the sun peeks through the horizon of clouds.

And there I sit,

looking through my window sill.

The trees, they dance in the wind,

unafraid of the shifts of seasons,

or losing their leaves-

they stand.

And the clouds,

a mix of blues and grays-

God’s paintbrush of beauty,

across the sky.

And I watch through my window sill.

The world is a beautiful place.



Star Baby

She was made, sewn together in perfection and care

each strand was counted, of her light-blonde hair.

Like a puzzle, she was, all pieces molding together

fingernail and toenail and heart, light as a feather.

Her head was a cascade of blue veins

under paper-thin skin with bruises and pains.

Arteries pumping blood, pressure all too low

with a fragmented heart beat, ever so slow.

Withered white bones enclose her like a shell,

she folds in this protective cavity, speaking words none can tell.

Her fist no bigger than mother’s two fingers.

First breath, no cries, as silence still lingers.

Like a shooting star she came into this world,

then faded with her hand, around her mother’s, curled.


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