Sejong Writing Competition Winners' Sijo

2022 Sejong Writing Competition

Winning Entries :: Sijo

Adult division

Martin Willitts Jr.

first place

Night Music

A slur of crickets builds tension and tensile strength noises,
winding and unwinding, violin strings snapping every night.
I shout stop. Silence in the hot night. Then frogs start bassoons.

bio

Stephanie Malley

second place

Mourning My Mom

All those months of hospice
     I pictured us easing into goodbye:
Family gathered at the end,
    taking turns holding her hand.
Then she died suddenly alone,
    leaving us empty-handed.

bio

Ben Griffis

third place

Hot Coffee

Hot coffee, black; no sugar.
     French Press, Turkish—just let me know.
Sitting down with some fresh pancakes…
     Mornings with you are a dream.
I can now barely remember
     How it felt with you next to me

bio

Pre-college division

Gabrielle Wincherhern

first place

the sun (and its arms)

if i am the sun, then you
      are the ever-lovely night.
daily i chase you when i rise
      just to see you fade from the sky.
is this love? rays always stretching
      towards things i can never reach.

bio

Natalie Vogt

second place

CNA

“Doing the dirty work,”
      they say about my kind of work.
If you saw the sorrow and sadness
      within their eyes and souls,
you too would do the “dirty work”
      to bring them a sliver of joy.

bio

Cathy Nguyen

third place

Butterfly

I grew the seeds you planted in my head: my veins burst with buds,
my tears sweet with nectar; for you I became a garden.
But still, you flutter by, lured by the scent of what’s out of reach.

bio

Elizabeth Gill

honorable mention

June 26, 2015

The bells chime ringing out joy
      white lace trails throughout the halls
Celebrating love and light
      but some frown offended
Disgusted by the ceremony
      it's different when it's two brides

bio

Emma Homrig

honorable mention

Late night witchcraft

Sizzle and pop. I'm summoning the sandman with my cauldron pot
Cumin, nutmeg, and chamomile I stir into my goblet
I drink a sip of tea and fall into a deep, dream-filled sleep

bio

Izeabella Jerger

honorable mention

 

Disgustingly, I stare at her. She's so ugly. I hate her.
Frayed fingernails. Acne-covered skin. Chubby body. Stained teeth.
I despise her. I wish I could punch her. But then the mirror would shatter.

bio

Ashley Park

honorable mention

Shoes

“sturdy shoes will walk you to better places” mother told me
so she stitched daffodils, storks, and crescent moons on the leather
those shoes don’t fit me anymore, replaced with shoes bought with dreams

bio

Christina Todd

honorable mention

I scratch behind his soft ear as he slowly drifts off to sleep.
It’s been a long day for my best friend – my canine companion.
The vet pats my shoulder and says, “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

bio