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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)

TITLE: Not In This School, You Don't
By Mariane Holbrook
10/08/09


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“What is your favorite color, class?” our teacher asked of us.
The school day was about to end; outside we heard our bus.
“So write about your favorite color; give it careful thought.
Be sure to use the essay style that you have just been taught.”

We hurried from our class that day discussing what she’d said.
We changed our minds a dozen times from pink to blue to red.
Around the dinner table we discussed it endlessly.
But there was not one color choice on which we could agree.

While sitting at my desk that night I felt God speak to me.
“This is a chance to share your faith though some might disagree.”
It seemed the words flew out of me; I felt God’s guiding hand.
Though I was barely fourteen then, ’twas time to take a stand.

“Of all the colors,” I began, “red is the one that wins.
It represents my Savior’s blood He shed for all my sins.
“When soldiers beat Him with their clubs, His blood flowed red with pain.
It poured from every stab and wound and left an awful stain.

“God could have made us pay for crimes that we had surely done.
But God’s love was so great that He gave up His own dear Son.”
I turned the two-page essay in; surprised when teacher chose
To read it to our English class but soon her voice just froze.

“Your work is unacceptable; you know we cannot speak
Or write of Jesus or of God, so leave here for one week.”
I put my books into my bag and told the class goodbye.
I didn’t know if I’d be back or if I’d even try.

My mom and dad just hugged me tight and said they loved me, too.
TV reporters were outside to see what I would do.
The interviews were shown for days on stations near and far;
My dad would tease that I’d become our family’s TV star.

It finally ended peaceably and I returned to school.
The kids were wearing red that day; I thought it was so cool.
But best of all, were letters I’d received from kids like me
Who’d placed their faith in Jesus Christ and He had set them free.


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This article has been read 1292 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/08/09
What a great example of courageous faith you present here. The rhythm and rhyme are perfect...just like the message. Well done! May God bless our young people who love him as they try to take a stand in this difficult age.
Laury Hubrich 10/08/09
Very good poem. Public schools try to bully our kids. Parents need to make sure kids know they can read their Bible and pray in school. Loved this!
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/08/09
Great entry all 'round! Good message, cute story, and nice flow.
Brian Haugrud10/09/09
Loved it!!!! Rhyming stories are my favorite, especially ones that that show our true "colors"
Charla Diehl 10/10/09
A+++++ for this story poem that shouts a message we should never forget. Perfection in the rhyme and meter. I hope to see this in the high ranks.
Helen Dowd 10/10/09
Oh wow, Mariane. This one has got to be a WINNER! If it were "cool" or "Christian" to envy someone, you would be the one I would envy, for your talent in poetry writing. Of course I don't! I just want to tell you what a great poem about RED this one is. It is not only on-theme, but the message is loud and clear. It is a blessing, and I am sure it would be the reaction in schools these days. Was it when you WERE 14? I don't know. I don't think it was when I was 14, but not sure. I went to a Christian high school...I really don't know what else to say about this entry, except that I think it is WONDERFUL...Helen
Sheri Gordon10/12/09
Very good poem. Great message, and the poem flowed so smoothly. Nice job.
Jan Ackerson 10/13/09
I'm so thankful that in the (public) school where I taught, this would not have happened!

Your poetry is always so excellent!
Betty Castleberry10/13/09
Could this be true? I'm almost afraid to ask.

This is so well done with such a great message. I love it!
Lynda Schultz 10/13/09
I remember a somewhat similar experience in my past—there's a whole lot of truth in that old song: "Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross." Good for your MC—and for you!
Joy Faire Stewart10/13/09
What a wonderful message within the poem and loved the ending. Excellent!
Shilo Goodson10/14/09
I think this poem sends a powerful message. Sadly even if it doesn't come from a true experience, I am sure that there are those who have experienced similar situations.
Bryan Ridenour10/15/09
Excellent poem and congrats on your win. Super job!
Margaret Kearley 10/15/09
This is just wonderful and it almost brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations on your very well deserved win.
Connie Dixon10/15/09
Wow! Excellent message, wonderful poem. Thanks so much for this inspirational gift. Congratulations.
Mona Purvis10/15/09
Thank you for using this color subject of red and being brave enough to write about the most precious red of all.
Worthy EC.
Janice Fitzpatrick10/15/09
This is a piece that really touched my heart. Where we live now, there still is freedom to speak about faith in the schools, but it wasn't so where we use to live.
I had gone to the same school where my children attended later, and how things changed. From being a school with a dress code, and allowing traditional religious Christmas songs to be sung in the program, to one that frowned on any religious parafanelia brought to school, it really did a total switch in twenty some odd years.
It angered and saddened me greatly and once we moved a few years later, I was relieved to find a town that still had strong christian values, within the schools as well.
Great job in writing this piece. Congrats on your win too!!
Aaron Morrow10/15/09
Congratulations Mariane, excellent work and very well-deserved.
Sherrie Coronas10/15/09
I loved this. You have such a gift! Congratulations!
Patricia Turner10/15/09
Sadly true in our day. Your poem marched as courageously as its "star"! Wonderful in every way and very deserving of its first place win! Congragulations!!
Linda Watson Owen10/15/09
Congratulations, my dear friend, on this well deserved win! Your poem is timelessly eloquent, and your skill is impeccable! What a treat for me to be online again just in time to see your wonderful poem at the top! Love your work, love YOU!!
Helen Dowd 10/15/09
Congratulations, Mariane! I told you that you should have been FIRST. So thanks, Judges, for picking this as a winner....Helen
Brian Douglas10/15/09
So many times poems of this type can be trite and sing-songy, but not this one! I was captivated after just the first couplet or two and never lost interest throughout the whole composition. Well done, and I believe every word.
harvestgal Ndaguba10/15/09
Excellent!!!
Lisa Johnson 10/16/09
Absolutely awesome work. This poem and it's message are truly inspired, and inspiring. Congratulations on you first place win and your EC.
Lori Robbins10/16/09
This is superb! It flowed well and the continous thread delighted me until the very end. Great job!
Genuine Suede10/16/09
When I was a kid we said the Lord's Prayer before our school morning began. We also sang God Save The Queen. The schools do neither now. Not allowed.

Although the girl would not likely get a weeks suspension here(I don't think--more likely she would be told her story is inadmissable and she would be given a failing mark), this scenario is already entirely possible, not something that could happen the future.
Genuine Suede10/16/09
PS. Great poem. Well written. :0)
Catrina Bradley 10/17/09
Awesome, Marianne! I grinned when I read that the kids all wore red on her first day back. Congrats - great job.
Diana Dart 10/20/09
You did it again girl! Wonderfully creative. I love how you can create an admirable, interesting character with so few words. And your rhythm and all of that is perfect to boot. Number One All the Way!
Carol Penhorwood 04/19/10
I can certainly see why this won first place. Awesome job, fantastic talent.