Third place, poetry: 'Fire and Ice'

By Alexis Petrielli
Rolling Meadows
Updated 4/30/2021 3:16 PM

Judge's comment: There is a lot of emotion and passion in this poem; this helps readers connect, because the poet must trust us to share these powerful feelings with us! At the same time, there is a bit of mystery presented in the poem's contradictions -- from the "fire that almost doesn't want to be found" to the "icebergs in the path of the Titanic." I like that the poem ends with a question, so that the mystery lingers.

Close the drapes


but leave the windows open

to let the cold seep in

because I don't mind it.

Let me feel the icy shards of darkness

searching for the fire in the storm

that almost doesn't want to be found.

Let me feel you, but not contract you;

your tune ever so sweet,

melody pouring out of your strings,

getting to me, but not infecting me.

Let me breathe the inevitable power

Of the night:

parties at two,

writing at four,

driving at six

to chase the first signs of light.

Pulsating, piercing

through my skin,

the light diminishes,

feeling like

an icicle


I was fine until I met you.

You were the queen

and I was your princess,

begging to be free

from your icy palace

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when I wanted my own

in the evergreen forest

where I can light the match

and breathe.

Not harming, but healing;

lighting the way for the green around me:

flowers blooming,

blossoming their delicate petals

and beaming like freckles

in the mirror

of the clearest pond

I've ever seen glimmer.

Until you froze it.

And extinguished my flame.

And the world weighs heavy on my shoulders

because I'm not allowed to find balance.

Because they force me to keep silent,

as if they are afraid.

But they don't have to be

icebergs in the path of the titanic.

And so I've been wondering,

when will I feel that flame again?

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