More than 80 young poets submitted entries in the 2012 Callaway County Youth Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Callaway County Public Library and the Auxvasse Creative Arts Program. This year’s contest was judged by local poet and North Callaway High School teacher Justin Hamm. Last week, both organizations honored Grace Stukenborg, among other award recipients, for her poem, “Thoughts of a Sailor.”
She barely heard the voices all around her at the reception
where she was all alone, alone but should not have been,
alone for her friend’s happy day, all dressed up, her long blonde hair
curled specially for the occasion with fake purple carnations placed
just above her left ear, thinking about the one who was not with her.
Her husband should be there, the one who had been beside her
these past four months, the one who, it seemed, just yesterday
had looked back at her, beaming in his dress whites,
as she walked down the aisle on the arm of her father,
her sparkling eyes the color of the sea after a storm,
the sea that her husband loved so dearly, second only to her.
The one who, eight days ago, had been called away
from his long deserved six months of shore leave,
one month early, on urgent navy business.
She thought of the one who she may never see again, the one who
could not call, though she knew he wished he could,
the one whom she loved, gone.
As her thoughts drifted to the present, as her gaze cleared,
and the voices grew louder in her ears, she sighed,
knowing she could do nothing about those circumstances
that had called her husband from her.
by Grace Stukenborg