Verbie and Hugh Prevost Award Winner for Outstanding Poetry
from the Young Southern Student Writers Contest
Maggie Thal, Grade 11 Signal Mountain High School
She always had mud on her boots
And leaves in her hair
And dirt up under her fingernails.
But she did not mind because the mud on her boots was where she had been
And what she had done,
And the leaves in her hair were flowers from lying in fields
In between a dream and a thought,
And the dirt up under her fingernails
Was just how far into the story she had managed to dig herself.
Her freckles were all the discoveries she had made,
And all the places that she went,
Gathering mud on her boots.
Her deep eyes were the reflection of the stars on the ocean
That she dreamt of in the field
Where she lay
Gathering flowers in her hair.
Her pink lips relayed her story,
And how far into it she had managed to dig herself,
Gathering dirt under her fingernails.
She was the wind that rustled up the leaves,
The rain that gave life to the flowers,
The birds that broke the early morning silence,
The fire that warmed cold hands.
She was everything,
An intertwined connectedness
With the nature that surrounded and engulfed her.