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2021 Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Awards Open Age Poetry

2021 Picture Ipswich Awards – Open Age

2021 Broderick Family Awards – 14-17 Years

To Be a Moth in a Butterfly Garden by Syazwani Saifudin (1st Place)

Crying at the Nail Salon by Josie Minz (2nd Place)

family portrait carved in wood by Syazwani Saifudin (3rd Place)

Thank you for knocking on my bedroom door rather than just barging in
I imagine you standing in front of it
one calloused fist in the air hovering timid and hesitant,
because maybe behind the door is a string
that will snap with our mercurial bond whose fraying constantly has to be patched and rewoven
you’re probably recalling the time you could just clutch the handle, turn it, step in, swoop me up
and spin me around like we were the only two people on Earth
like father and daughter meant invincible, infinite
with our mismatched hands intertwined; second-hand toys; sticky fingers; patience

first smile for you
first tears wiped away by your rough fingers
first-word: “da-da”
first day of school
quickly turned into the first day of high school,
where nobody calls their father “daddy”
you’re probably recalling the closed doors, that would shake our small home
the too-short shorts; boy talk never talked; space I crave; attention I need; warnings I dismissed;
the intransigent distance between us on silent drives.

I know you’re scared of me, what I might do,
or what the world might do to me
scared of losing me to teen boys, angst, and a life separate from you
but we’ve had this discussion
so you bring your knuckles to the patchy white paint
a question spoken, softly,
and the sound reverberates in my ligneous heart that I am still learning to carve.

riptide by Portia Claire Hoole (Highly Commended)

Ambedo Street by Sarah Campbell (Highly Commended)

listen by Syazwani Saifudin (Highly Commended)

Her by Grace Lloyd (Highly Commended)

Little Blue by Katelyn Fanlagan (Highly Commended)

Our Sacred Land by Amaeh Reed (Highly Commended)

Tempest by Melody Cherrie (Highly Commended)

2021 Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 11-13 years

2021 River 94.9 Award – 8-10 Years