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Christopher Valdenegro Poetry Contest

The winners for the 2022-2023 Christopher Valdenegro poetry contest:

First Place

Moving Day

Pauline Punzalan - Grade 10


Look at all that hustle and bustle around our tiny home.

Brown cardboard boxes stacked on top of

Each other when my mom finishes tidying a room.

Moving all my fashionable outfits into trash bags, with

A piece of duct tape with the word “Donation” on it.

Soaping marble countertops, spraying glass windows,

Dusting cotton curtains, and even little, framed crevices are dusted.

Making sure the house is left spotless.

My dad, calling in pick-up trucks to take our

Sacred memorabilia away, somewhere new.

Our obnoxious voices bouncing off the white walls

As we shout throughout the empty, cold hallways.

My sister randomly sneezing as she fights with

Clouds of dust collected in our storage bins.

Disassembling our vintage furniture in hopes to sell it

In a garage sale. Loading all our necessities into trucks,

Watching it drive away, almost till the vehicle had

Become minuscule. We soon drove away in our

Camry, hearing all our vases and Lego sets

Quiver and clunk in the trunk.

It was time to sprout into a new, maybe even a better



Second place

Neverland, Goodbye 

Giselle Avila - Grade 10


Second star to the right,

Straight on till morning.

Neverland in my sight,

A place worth exploring.


Endless flying,

Vivid rainbows,

Sea-salted waters,

Enchanted fairies, and

Fiery stars that burn so bright.


Until I open my eyes

Calmly, I am sent back

To the burden of growing up.


 Third place

The Old Neighborhood

Savannah Rodriguez - Grade 10


When I drive through my childhood home, 

I remember smell of fresh bread at the bakery

Sweet smell of cinnamon in my nose

Vendors selling fresh ice 

The screaming of children on the block 

Mariachis singing on weekends.

Summer days with no A.C.

Neighbors coming together for BBQs in 90-degree heat

Water fights as the night cools down the heat 


Now, I see the murals of angel wings on the walls 

The restaurants closed. 

I see myself young, eye gleaming with joy.