Photo Feature Wednesday: the Carl Sandburg House

Photo Feature graphic, PicMonkey

Last weekend, our family and Duane’s parents went to Flat Rock, NC to visit the Carl Sandburg house. Abby’s teacher entered a poem that she wrote into the Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest. I am THRILLED to report that she won second place for her poem, Day Shadows to Night Brightness. Abby has always loved to write and as she gets older, it’s obvious that she has a unique way with words. Here’s the poem she wrote; I’m biased, but I think it’s really beautiful.

By: Abby Davis February 24, 2014

Day Shadows to Night Brightness

When I touch my downy blonde hair, I know I am awake.
My yawn feels as if it reaches the edges of the Earth.
The early mornings somber darkness obscures the morning birds angelic song.
My sleepy eyes want to close.
My mind races back throughout yesterday and I push my achy body off of my SUDDENLY springy bed.
I feel strong, even though the loudest quiet is going on in the world around me.
Today’s first sun rays gleam through my window and I am ready.
I thrust myself forward for whatever challenges come my way.
Good morning light.

Lanky with wavy brown curls that roll down her bony back
Her tan skin is coated with piles of tears carrying sad memories, showering like waterfalls.
Shy. Words locked in her head, heard by no one but her own soul.
Our words were blocked out by the pain she felt underneath the radiant yellow monkey bars.
Dark shadows in her life were ones we hadn’t experienced.
The second came when she overheard the laughter of friendly conversation.
A smile hung on the corners of her mouth, visible but far from full.
Beneath the luminous yellow monkey bars all of our worlds became brighter.
She smiled and said, “Hi.”

Malicious customers, counting dollars, loud bawls from annoying little babies
She shouts. She is done, she says, done and storms off.
The corner she finds herself in is filled with dust and cobwebs.
That is what she feels in her heart; dusty, dusty cobwebs.
One chocolate cupcake, beautiful orange frosting, scattered sprinkles
“Happy Birthday,” he says.
She laughs. She laughs like there is nothing in the world that can stop her.
Tears explode that have been bundled up behind her eyes.
Not sad, happy, extremely happy.
She screams of joy and lifts him off of his feet, eating it lightheartedly.

I bounce back on my springy bed, downy blonde hair sprawling across my pillow.
After all I have seen today, my eyelids flutter to the tune of a heavenly bird song and close peacefully.
The memories drift into my head painting a smile, an image of things I have learned.
There is strength in each part of each day, every situation filled with emotion.
The day’s events each made me feel heartbroken while its happy moments mended the broken pieces.
You can’t have happy without sad because light pours out of darkness.
Dark shadows give way to bright smiles; dusty cobwebs are swept away with life’s beautiful frosting.
Somehow, somber darkness always releases an angelic heavenly song.
The darkness of the night sky will be illuminated by the light that shines in the morning.
Giving all things a chance to reflect, to experience, to start over…dark to light
Constant movement


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  • Joel Ledbetter

    Beautiful poem, Abby! I loved the last few lines about light and darkness

  • Julie Davis

    Thanks, Joel. She smiled when she read your comment.

  • April Alexander

    All I know is Abby’s teacher is one lucky gal! She sure has a super talented, bright as a smiley face sticker kiddo in her classroom with Abby as a student! I bet she learns something and is inspired by Abby daily! 😉 (Seriously though, it is true!)

  • Dottie Edwards

    “You can’t have happy without sad because light pours out of darkness.” This line reached down into my heart and pulled forth joy and hope for today. Such a special young writer who sees things beyond her years!

  • Julie Davis

    Dottie, I know. That was my favorite part, too. She’s read so many books that I think she’s beginning to develop an eye for themes underneath the surface. It’s cool to watch.