Monday, April 27, 2009

WINNING POEM: "Peace Be With You"

By Claire James

I remember little about going to church
Something my sister and I did often as children
We ate donuts, drank overly sweet tea
And invented a game with chairs.
Now, church is something that happens once
Maybe twice a year
Major holidays only.
We went recently
My sister back from college.
Just her, my dad and I,
Religion was never my mom’s thing.
I understand hardly anything
My sister is happy because she know the hymns
In the middle we break
And do one of the few things
I remember from my childhood.
“Peace be with you”
The person next to me shakes my hand
“Peace be with you”
A smile with the person across the aisle
We would probably disagree on so many things
And yet we truly do want
Peace to be with one another.
I didn’t understand it as a child
Why was my dad shaking strangers’ hands?
Why did it matter?
I wish we could use this good will
Expand it,
Use it to create some universal understanding.
End the conflict in Israel
End our conflict with every one.
Maybe, just maybe
We can dispel differences
With the shake of a hand
And “Peace be with you.”

Claire James, a high school senior in Washington, DC, won second place for this poem in the 2009 International Youth Arts Contest, sponsored by a group in San Francisco, California.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a nice poem! It was special for me because I got used do go to church every sunday, and for three year to play the guitar and sing the hymns. You made me remember this moments all of us willing "peace be with you". Thank you! I'm typing from Brazil (