By Beatrix Stone
6th grade, Alice Deal Middle School, DC
2nd place contest winner

With Lines from "Social Media Turned These Girls into Stars. It Also Made Them Targets." by Doug Bock Clark, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

Cool waves
Call me
Breathe mist
Unto my naked feet
They call me
For I listen
They call me
'Leave your weighty load
Your dimes
And your lawless trade
Come to us
Breathe us
Live us'

I wish
To fly
But what
Is one child
In the surf?
What is the risk of becoming
one of
1700 children drowned?

The risk
Is the waves
The cool mist
The power
The fight
The triumph
It is worth it

Is it worth it
To scream
Without words
That not
Only men surf?
That risks are meant to be borne
And overcome?
Does having this
Much happiness
Need to be
Must we always
Paddle back
To land?
Must we always
Find joy
In the egg
And the necklace?

Must the ones
Who long to be us
Harass us?
The ones who think  
We're wrong
Attack us?

We are the dolphins
Strong when together
And weak apart
Do not
One ninety
Seven hundred fifty

But 'fore
The dawn breaks
Darkness lurks
In paths
Common in the light
In friends
When pulled dark.

But dawn will break
As voices ring out
Over the deep
A hundred miles
Will become one
As strangers
Fierce warriors
A defense of many tongues
Being one

A girl will always be a girl
Once you're thirteen or fourteen, you'll be
Is the creed
Of a coward
With want of power
He will never have
Must the order stay
This way?

And though
The haven
Is among the sands
Of time
Strength will maintain
With lasting experience
None can remove
When they emerged
Men stumbled
Out of their way

So in this light
Little Firefly
For you are safe with me
Come and I will
Show you
The lifeblood
The escape
The heartbreak
The hope
I will show you
The surf.


Beatrix Stone

Beatrix Stone is a sixth grade student at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, D.C. Eleven years old, she was born in Ottawa, Canada and lived in Edmonton, Alberta before moving to Washington in 2013.  In 2017, she was Poet Laureate of Hearst Elementary School and won the Junior League of Washington poetry competition for DC fifth graders. She lives with her sister, Ngila Stone (pronounced: n-y-la) Mom, Janelle Stone, and Dad, Liam Stone in Tenleytown, Washington, DC. Beatrix loves musical theatre and travel, and hates cleaning her room.

Read more winning entries from the 2018 Fighting Words Poetry Contest