Third Place Winners of the Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth

In Place of a Bucket List

Shake hands with any apparition found in your closet. Argue with the hornet to take-up
nailbiting. Lace those tips with nicotine and replace the kitchen knife with a hammer.

Feed the dog. Mirror her grateful prance for nourishment. Take nothing for granted. Do
not hide from the snow in your hair; do not melt it with a glaring bottle.

Read faces. Be curious in near-silence, where energy so diverse you’re years from
draining. Name and rename your body.

Smile to a friend. Draw lists of favorites with your crinkles. Do not stop at top-three,
categorize all back to that morning when the best of days were to you “just being”.

Blink. Inhale. Let thunder crack out your throat as lightning. Do not bitter the coming
rain with expectations past present. This midden gift is without need for future-planning,
or scheduling for curtain fall and nor does it beck and call for nightsworth of encore.

Count tones, memories, and clicks like passing sheep. Give a weather report on ungulate
foot patterns. Sheer your herd to knit a noel sweater.

Drink tea. Smile with yourself. Worry less about which voice is yours. Accept inner
diversity. Call to council an open forum in the bathtub.

Be entertained by bedtime stories. Your own follies are a daytime TV show; do not become
swayed by the commercial breaks.

In Place of a Bucket List was submitted by Sabrina Dahl, a Grade 12 student at Centennial High School in Calgary, AB. It was awarded third place in the Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth Senior Category.


Blame it on the Weather

I’m sorry,

for becoming the heavy box

of ripped photographs you’ve pushed

to the back of your mind, and

the reason why

that song’s lyrics never seem

to take refuge between your ears


Maybe one day

we’ll have one more

laugh, so

I can forgive myself for something

you’ve moved on about.

And maybe one day, I’ll turn around

and I’ll see your silhouette

in the puddle of raindrops behind me.

But until then,

I’ll try and remember the way

your voice sounds.

I’ll continue to miss the way your words

would always tumble slightly

over mine

and how every conversation had the

potential to

continue on

and on.

Blame if on the Weather was submitted by Sam De Leon, a Grade 9 student at Frank Hurt Secondary School in Surrey, BC. It was awarded third place in the Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth Junior Category.

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