Area writers capture our community in poems

Your ZIP Code is more than an address. It is an identity.

Every year, it is the honor of Toledo City Paper and Toledo Area Parent magazine to act as a media sponsor of the Ode to the ZIP Code poetry contest. As part of the event, writers of all ages submit five line poems— each line with a number of words corresponding to the numbers in their ZIP Code. Over 200 poets of all ages submitted entries this year. The winning poems will be announced at a special virtual event on April 19 (419 Day) at 6pm, via Zoom and Facebook Live.
(Keep an eye on toledocitypaper.com for more details!)

 

What poems best captured the spirit of the 419 this year?
Here are the 2021 finalists!

Adult Finalists 

ages 18 and over

Olivia Anderson
43620
art school yarn bomb
handmade loco vintage,
take Collingwood down to where my
life began

Erica Blake
43612
Not quite West Toledo,
not quite North.
Nearly twenty years, it has been
home –
Five Points

Megan Connolly
43614
Wixey starts our day
River road drives
On Sundays Walbridge Park comes Alive
Broadway
South Toledo is Home

Charlene Gary
43616
there were competing flags
in my neighborhood
across the street from each other
then
there was only one left flying

Lindsay Haynes
43560
I finally found you
sneaky little trilobite
Dirty nails and fossil hunting
makes for an unforgettable summer day

Elyse Hutcheson
43606
hospital chimneys and helicopters
billow and zip
guard my street like a friend
(even when i wander the woods)
ever watchful in my frozen window

Alexandra Kania
43612
Rain drenched mattresses forgotten
In the grass
Barefoot children unaware of broken glass
Trodden
Middle class

Emily Reid Green
43613
We are never lost:
Branches like arrows,
each home a distinct fingerprint inked,
dogs
barking different languages.

Lina Sanders
43623
bike rides down McGregor
racing the moon
to the discrete location hidden inside
the potholes
collecting forgotten childhoods

Sam Wright
43612
Library Village is my
garden. I grow
tomatoes, cut grass, rake leaves. Welcome
hungry
squirrels, birds.

Young Adult Finalist

ages 12-17

Shrishte Baskara
43571
Cut wood logs assembled
Like puzzle pieces
Aloft on a concrete base
Soon to hold doors leading to my
Home

Laine Brown
43430
4-ice cream melting fast
3-sticky hands grab
4-my sleeve smearing chocolate
3-ice cream soup
0-(for the last time kid
I’m not your mother)

Maxwell Gierke
43616
snow on the ground
car windows down
embrace the smell, frost and exhaust
breathe,
at last, springtime in northwest ohio

Vanessa Hernandez
43605
each night the train
comes rattling, loudly
sometimes wish it would take me
(into the refinery)
touch the fire just once

Mikayla Jordan
43608
4 The house up north
3 is holding life.
6 Forest cemetery is near by north
0 (Where new drivers can’t harm
anyone; where families & possibly
friends rest.)
8 Many things happen not enough
words to explain.

Harper Leitner
43606
my street is tired
worn down gravel
ice slicked across the dark asphalt

in summer, flora frames the road

Scott Lime
43604
I took a nap
in the snow,
cigarette butts and candy wrappers
nearby.
Resting
on Berdan.

Karyme Luna
43611
Old apple tree around
the corner that
brings neighbors close and offers
pickings.
Thank
You

Bridget Quinlan
43614
Deer prints are muffled
in soft snow.
Dear children shout at trees, forever
echoing
there in the cul-de-sac.

Mia Westfere
43614
Tabletop train city landscape
Sleepy filelds surround
A bright nucleus bound by common
Dignity
Where skeptic souls abound

 

Youth Nominees 

ages 11 and younger 

Theo Cherry-Timmons
43613
How I love trees
Squirrels playing, jumping
From big tree to big tree
Trees
Dropping their seeds

Gera Fletcher
43612
YMCA is so enjoyable.
The sound dribbling.
The sound of the squeaking shoes.
The
chlorine smell

Zeke Freeman
43607
Our neighbor dog Bob
The birds chirping
The trees are good for climbing
(Westmoreland)
Mott Branch Library is my happy place

D’Ron Parks
43612
Hike the ball pass
catches, breaks tackle
stiff arm then he dives for
Touchdown
Championship game

Jack Thoma
43537
Maumee sounds like Mommy.
I love Mommy.
I love Maumee lots too.
Fireworks, parades, Halloween!
I love my fun and cool Maumee!