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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)

TITLE: Life Experience
By Jana Kelley


Tough brown skin, wrinkled and scarred
From years of work and a life that was hard.
Oh the stories I might tell, if only I could.

My gnarled, arthritic and calloused hands
Brush back hair streaked with silvery strands.
Oh the stories I’d tell, and maybe I should.

My eyes are cloudy and vision is low
My voice is rough and words come slow.
I wonder if anyone would care to hear.

My body is bent and strength is gone.
But there is hope in this little one.
And that is why I hold him dear.

Healthy and new is his soft shiny skin.
His years are before him: a life to begin!
Just holding him seems to give life back to me.

Active and wiggly hands and feet
Clamber and grasp with energy sweet.
I wonder what he will grow up to be?

His eyes are black and bright as stones
As if ready to take on all the unknowns.
And, who knows? Maybe he really can.

Soft curls cover his little round head.
He is the hope after my life is led.
I felt free to go when his life began.

But holding him now, I have to resign
That his life will be just as hard as mine.
What will his choice be when life turns sour?

Right now he is soft but scars are in store
That may mar his skin and his heart even more.
Will he have the strength in his toughest hour?

Ah, to share my experience, that is my dream
To help this boy build his strength and esteem.
To tell him who and what and where…

But that’s not real life, not if I give it.
Life is experience, you have to live it.
So I hold him close and whisper a prayer.

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This article has been read 776 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 05/02/09
Excellent! Delightful! Brilliant! Fulfilling! On target Topic-Wise...and what more can I say? This poem is just beautiful and is filled with pure Wisdom and Truth. I loved it and Kudos to you for a great job!
Lollie Hofer05/06/09
What a wonderful poem. This is actually one of my favorite reads this week (and there are a lot of good stories). Not only did I like the message of the poem but it was well written. You don't see too many three-lined verses. I liked how the last line of every other verse rhymed. You were true to the cadence and rhythm as well. Extremely well done! Thanks for sharing.
Glenda Lagerstedt05/06/09
Right on. Good rhythm, excellent message. Keep up the good work.
Betty Castleberry05/07/09
Excellent use of the topic. Congratulations on a much deserved win.
Loren T. Lowery05/07/09
Beautifully put, rightfully honored. Congratulations on this wonderful piece.
Myrna Noyes05/07/09
You deserve the First Place EC for this wonderfully-written poem! Structurally it is sound, and emotionally it is rich! :) CONGRATULATIONS!!
Kimberly Michalski 05/07/09
Nice. I like the small leap at the end.
Carol Slider 05/07/09
What a sweet and beautiful poem, and so very true! Congratulations!!
Janice Fitzpatrick05/07/09
This is so precious and tendder. How sweet the lines flow through this piece. Your words softly held my attention and spoke to my heart. Thanks for writing this. Congrtulations on your win hon. Lord bless you!:0)
Rachel Rudd 05/07/09
I am so impressed! Such a beautiful poem! The words that hit me the most were these "But that’s not real life, not if I give it.
Life is experience, you have to live it." Perfect!
Congratulations on winning! It was well-deserved!
Beth B05/07/09
Beautiful! Congratulations on winning first place.
Genia Gilbert05/07/09
This is simply excellent, in form and message. How very very true! You really do "have to live it!" Congratulations on a well deserved win.
Charla Diehl 05/07/09
Your words made the MC come alive to the reader. Words of wisdom passed on to the younger generation--your title says it all.
Congratulations on placing 1st with this lovely poem.
Chely Roach05/07/09
Absolutely lovely. Congratulations on your HUGE first place EC!
Glynis Becker05/10/09
So poignant and perfect. Congratulations on a well-deserved first place!!
Kathy Gronau 05/14/09
I agree that you did a wonderful job with this. Congratulations. It made me think of my own experience as I read it.