Teen Category - 1st Place Winner


He thinks pretty birds are just conquests:
Falcons to display sleek groomed feathers
and savage obedience at his beckoning whistle

He traps them
cages them
just to reject them once they’re broken.

I was raised with an Eagle in my heart
A free spirit untethered by his practiced nonchalance
Pure as the gnawing North wind, fierce as a flowing forest fire
To me, he will never be more than a rotting carcass
not even worthy to be a vulture’s meal

But he defies the laws of motion
His rifle fires with no recoil
A beautiful freak of nature

And even freedom-dipped feathers are no match for bullets
forged by a sense of “belonging"
tempered with blazing blue irises
polished like his lopsided grin

With gaping exit wounds
and no safety net
I fall

Allison Chiang, (Richmond, BC)