11th Annual Poetry Contest Winners!


Ebony Bowen, Editor-in-Chief

April is Poetry Month!  Since 2008, The Cardinal has been conducting its annual poetry contest.   Students submit poems, and a team of editors and staff read through and score poems on a scale of 1-4, 1 representing emotion, imagery, and interpretations for discussion.  We thank all the students who submitted poems.

First Place and winner of a $20 Starbucks gift card, sophomore Laura Isabel Torres Ramirez.

“Dear M”

The time has come again to write you something

But you’re not here to listen this time

You finally have a name to call

And it’s not the one that comes and goes with the will to smile.

I MUST scream it every night

The moon my only witness

Dear M, when will your answer come.


I still sit at the end of the staircase

You know because it’s that Monday of May

And my best friend

Lost sister

Companion of adventures

Said she does not remember my name.

That holding her boyfriend’s hand

She does not recognize anyone

Please, dear M.

Please tell me, tell me she will be okay

Because without you I’m alone in a sea of people,

I really don’t care drowning in.


I will always hug my knees and hide in a corner.

That same corner where you hugged me until I fell asleep.

Where I found out you were not real.

But you were the only warmth I had in this world.

Dear M, why do I feel so cold now?


Hitting the wall did nothing but hurt my hand.

The same wall that kept silent our secrets all these years.

That wall where a broken mirror hangs

And the cover you put over,

That same cover

Falls with every change of clothes

With every shower

With every stupid food I eat.

And I hear a voice

It may not be yours

It may not be mine

Hell it may not be real or human

But it’s there,

Telling me I don’t deserve the food I eat

The peace I had

That with sacrifice I may be someday like my friends.

Dear M, why would I want to be like my friends?


Maybe it’s because they don’t scare people when they try to act nice

The fact that buying clothes they like is easy

They enter blindly seeing something they like in size M and size S

Come out fitting them wrong

Fitting them big

But in the words of a tailor

“a dress can be cut but never be expanded”

And that’s where they will tell me

those x’s on my tag means there is something wrong with me.

I will never use that dress I dreamed of, Paid for.


The time has ended M,

Another grade will come and go.

thanks to you or the lack of your existence perhaps follows.

You gave me no answer but before locking your lips

You gave me an advice.

That I should not jump off a cliff following someone,

Mom would be angry if I did.

But be that someone that jumps off the cliff

Stopping anyone that wants to follow

Makes them build a fence on that idiotically obvious spot

Then “leave me alone” I’ll be fine.

But look for somewhere else where there will be someone that might just try to be like


And not make it.

They didn’t fall enough

They felt too much

Or maybe I was in the floor to begin with

Not caring, but that’s why I’m fine.


Well now I’m taking your advice.

Those questions that float in my mind and in all clear air,

Go in an adventure no one will follow me in.

I will not come back until I care for no more x’s


Some may call me crazy

Some may say it’s just a waste

To those people I will say thank you

I will tell them I don’t care

That my whole life was considered a waste for that matter but nothing is really that.

That maybe, just maybe,

I can find the answer

Not need you anymore

Write you no more letters

Dedicate you no more writings

And for once leave all questions behind

Just like waste

For someone else to haunt.


Second Place and winner of a $15 Starbucks gift card, senior Jasmine Stefanos.

“The Carousel”

Fluorescent lights tint our skin as you caress my face
The wind is playing with my hair; carrying it as if it was a delicate veil
Time is still; leaving us destined to spin forever
Whispers of “I love you” make me smile as they pluck at my heartstrings
A symphony of beautiful chimes and intricate sounds ring my eardrums
The coolness of the golden pillar within my grasp feels comforting as I lose my breath in the moment
The moment where the carousel stops and forces me to realize that I’m not actually in love
Reality pulls me back into consciousness and I’m heartbroken by my own fantasy
Love does not exist


Third Place and winner of a $10 Starbucks gift card, freshmen Melanie Juarez.


The problems in my past
are photographs
filled with dark colors;
it is hard to see what is there.
I have dark memories
that I don’t like about my past,
a lot of memories
I cannot change,
but they are a part of me
and have made me
who I am.
I wish I could show
these photos,
but I cannot talk
or write
about these moments.
Not yet.
All I can do is cry.
But, I am stronger now
because of people
who have helped me
love me.
I have begun to love myself,
to love everything around me.
Even if I am alone,
I am not lonely at all.