2015 Winning Poetry Entries

Grades K-2 Poetry

Maverick Bailey, Gulf Elementary  ​​


When I look up inside and outside, what do I see?
Blue fireworks lighting the sky.
White-headed eagles soaring through the sky.
I also see red, white, and blue flags soaring above. 

When I look behind me inside and outside, what do I see?
Independence from kings..
Armies protecting us from harm.
Slavery stopped by Abraham Lincoln.

When I look in front of me inside and outside, what do I see?
I see mores states to help us with independence.
I see the election of the president.​ 

Grades 3-5 Poetry

Nathaniel Bennett, Three Oaks Elementary

Flag O' Flag

Flag O’ Flag
Billowing in the breeze,\The noble and proud glory
Brings many to their knees.

Flag ‘O Flag
Marching loyal like a soldier.
A nation full of freedom and honor,
Carrying the country on its shoulders.


Flag O’ Flag
A nation full of truth and pride,
The happiest place you  will live,
You’ll see the flags hanging outside.

Flag ‘O Flag
The original 13 stars and stripes.
That is our nation’s history,
With all its power and might.

Grades 6-8 Poetry

Tanner Hollaway, Challenger Middle



The drop of the rain,
The call of a bird.
Other than  that

The clouds above boom;
The people below bow their heads
In silence.

There’s the occasional sob,
The occasional whisper
But other than that

Twenty-one shots ring out,
Friends and family silent,
Watery eyes on the fallen hero
Lying in silence.

Grades 9-10 Poetry

Marielle Patrick, Ft. Myers High

Freedom Has Never Been Free

I am free to worship God and sing his praises, I am free to speak without fear of any inherent harm.

I am free to assemble and I can petition for change. I am free to protect myself and to bear arms.

I am free of the worry of unlawful search and seizure, and due process is always afforded to me.

I cannot be tried twice - that is double jeopardy, and I can only be tried by my peers in a jury.

I do not have to worry about punishment that is unusual or cruel

I walk around totally free and not subject to some despot's rule

They say that nothing in life is free, so I started to think about the price paid for me

It was bought at the expense of men and women who have sacrificed precious time with family.

It was bought with the innocence of youth forever taken from many a young teen

Who cannot sleep and remains haunted nightly by the atrocities they've seen

It was bought with the hearing and the sight of those now deaf and blind from flying metal

It was bought with soldiers' tissue, tendon, bone, and limbs so damaged they wound up dying.

It was bought with spines so damaged that walking and running can happen no more

It was bought with the lives of fathers and mothers, labeled as casualties of war

There are those who question sacrifice and won't support those who are in the fight

Not caring it is because of them that they sleep unmolested at night.

So as I sit here living and breathing free to muse about

Whatever my mind may choose to stumble upon

Or just to be fifteen year old me.

I know the freedom I enjoy has never been free

It has been paid for with the precious blood of patriotis

scattered from sea to shining sea.

Grades 11-12 Poetry

Grace Speas, Ft. Myers High

The Evergreen Spirit


You were born with an evergreen spirit

Tenacity  unable to be scorched.

You fought for the noblest of causes

Your bark they intended to torch.

Surrounding horrors of enemy fire

Were dimmed by a blazing spirit within.

With humility at your roots and dirt on your boots

You brushed evil from rugged skin.

They marked you finished and declared your battle lost.

They even decided your fate.

But one little detail went overlooked:

State of war with red, white, and blue, a very dangerous state.

Now, missiles fade and barracks seem empty,

You triumphed over unspeakable grief.

Know that your service has come full circle -

An eternal evergreen wreath.

So it is true that the fire inside

Burns patriotic shades and also a green color

Because the American spirit, like that majestic tree,

Bows to God but never another.