Teen Poetry Contest Winner for 1999
Maria Alloco
Niles West High School, Grade 12

9—1—1

Underneath
Cracks of street and sidewalk
Stretching for exposure
Gum—spit—rubber marks—dog crap—
Innately appeared smeared adhered
Over my mouth my voice
Skin-searing slaps of tar sealed
Still—
I slowly seep...

Above 
Trunks of brown bark trees
Flames screaming raw real life
RED—YELLOW—STOP—LOOK—
They do and don't
Crinkling, curling,
                         Falling.
Earth's cold air rejecting
Oblivious feet are crushing
Yet—
My seed scatters...

On the surface scared to bloom
Underneath lies beauty
Shivering seed—Chick in concrete egg—
Sweet petals—Powerful poison
Fingers tap thoughts drip.
                                   drip..
                                      drip...
Start—
Seeing Sprouting Stretching...