Portage Collegiate Grade 11 student Sierra Hemingway started out her time at high school hating poetry. However, after an introduction to the literary field by her teacher, she grew to enjoy it and entered a competition and recently won some awards.
She was part of the Remembrance Day Literary Contest which included an art aspect, as well. She won the poetry category.
"There were two different sections. I won first place for the city and then there was another level where I won second place for all of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario," says Hemingway. "It feels good to win something. I want to do the same contest again next year and there are a couple of different poetry contests I've entered. Last year, I entered the Pandora contest and this year, I think I might do that again, too."
Hemingway's poem was simply called Remember.
"The criteria was just anything about remembering or Remembrance Day. The way I put it was about someone remembering their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. They're remembering their ex. Then there's a couple of lines in the poem where I did change it a little bit to be more about war and justice, to make it a little bit more of a Remembrance Day poem."
Here is her poem.
I remember the time we used to spend together.
I remember all the laughs.
I remember the way your smile lit up the room as you walked in
I spent 362 days since I said goodbye.
11 months and 28 days since I last saw your smile
And only one second since I last thought of the way you used to look at me.
I pushed away the thought of you. The thought of us.
I was crazy to think we could ever happen
To think you could ever care enough to stay.
I remember the silent nights. I remember my cries,
Wishing you were beside me,
Praying on the bedroom floor you'd come home
Pleading with all my strength the last wasn't really our last.
They tell me to wait, be patient, and time will tell.
But the worry and fear swarms my mind.
I remember when I didn't worry. I remember when I was happier,
But that was when you weren't part of my life.
"I was just remembering friends who've just, kind of, moved on, and things like that," adds Hemingway. "I was thinking about how a girlfriend would feel if their boyfriend was going to war or something like that -- that relationship kind of thing, too."
She says she definitely couldn't do it without her friends and family, and her teacher Mr. Wermie.
"I hated poetry coming into high school, but he got me into it. He pushed me to do the contest and I wrote this within an hour," says Hemingway. "I'm really glad that I did it and that he pushed me to it."