English Teacher Billie Mears Wins Poetry Award

Over Fall Break, 6th Grade Dean and English teacher Billie Mears attended the Write on the Sound Writers’ Conference in Edmonds, Washington. Over 30 workshops and panel discussions were available at the conference.
Ms. Mears reports that in addition to learning from incredible authors and speakers, including keynote speaker Kristen Hannah (The Nightingale), she won the First Place Poetry Award for her poem Old Neighborhood, inspired by the annual theme: shadows. The award included a small cash prize and publication by the City of Edmonds in their educational materials. Congratulations, Ms. Mears! 

Old Neighborhood

The watery moon floated in pools of city street water,
floated down lanes where houses were lit up like
birthday candles in a darkened room.

I leaned against you as we walked, my hand
tucked around your elbow, my free hand
carrying the umbrella, not needed this night
since the rain had stopped.

“We lived in this neighborhood how long ago?”
I asked. “I can’t remember how long,” you said
squeezing my hand into the side of your ribs.

We returned to walk familiar lanes whenever
we wanted to remember those years, now lost in the shadows,
when our walks were the most important part of our time
together. My hand in yours, always safe.

We didn’t live in any of the big houses. We just liked
them. We liked looking at them, with their windows
of golden light, their well-manicured lawns and
winding driveways.

We lived around the corner in a small
second floor apartment. Our wealth
could not be counted in terms of
windows or gardeners.

“We have a history of walking,” I said.
“Yes,” you said simply, sweetly,
and we began to slow the pace of our steps.
The moon illuminated the silver in your hair.
I smiled, feeling rich with every blessing and step.