VOYA Teen Poetry Contest

Two winners were chosen to go on to the VOYA (Voices of Youth Advocates) Teen Poetry Contest from MCPL. Congratulations to Melanie Muniz and Huangzewen Qian!

Happily Ever Afters and Toys

Melanie Muniz

Age 17

We have reached the time between adulthood and innocence

We are expected to trade our

Dolls for dollars

Trains and Teddy Bears for time-keeps

Sand Castles for Swords

We still do Halloween except now it’s every day that we go around saying lies about who and what we are

We still steal cookies from the cookie jar, despite the swelling sickness

As a boy runs away, for he doesn’t want to play a girl comes up and tags him anyway, even though he told her “No means No.”

We play quiet as a mouse but even a mouse squeaks when it can't take the silence

Things will get better they say but they never do, for with every good that comes along, a bad comes along too

And like an apple we grow rotten with age

How long until the evil queen dies and the good guy wins? A child desperately questions but the mother simply shakes her head and says

“The End”

Welcome to America

Huangzewen Qian

Age 16

I was born in China, at night

A small town under polluted sky

I was given pure black eyes

Through the darkness I see lives


I traveled, thousands of miles to reach another land

A land across the ocean

A land dreamed to be fine

But I could still see, see people cry


I asked my warm-hearted friend

Why, why there is trash everywhere beside the street

With those homeless people hopeless and weak

Why people protest, to fight for things they deserve


Why is there still injustice between rich and poor

Men and women, black and white

These scenes were not in my dream

The dream of a great country


She smiled at me with stars in her eyes

And a kind of soft sorrow, then she replied

Oh dear friend, welcome to America

This is another heart-broken land