05-07-21 Essay Award horizontal no mask

Kiwanis Club President Barbara Plonski (right) presents Kennett High School senior Grace Wilkenson with a check for $50 for her winning entry in Being Peace MWV's Earth Day wrirting contest. (RACHEL SHARPLES PHOTO)

CONWAY — Kiwanis Club President Barbara Plonski last Friday presented Kennett High senior Grace Wilkenson with an award for her winning entry in an Earth Day writing contest.

The writing contest, which was put on jointly by the Kiwanis Club and Being Peace MWV, encouraged students to compose an essay, poem or story to show an understanding of Earth Day and its connection to peace.

Wilkenson's poem, titled "our mother, the earth," earned her a $50 prize.

Wilkenson, 18, plans to go to St. Joseph's, a private Catholic college in Standish, Maine, to study to be a kindergarten teacher.

Wilkenson said has made an effort to be more environmentally conscious throughout high school. She has done projects for school on the planet, and she thinks awareness is very important.

As a future teacher, she hopes to educate young kids how to take care of the world they live in. She hopes that this will inspire both her future students as well as the families.

"I really appreciate being recognized," she told Plonski.

Here is Grace's poem, "our mother, our earth":

the earth is defined as the planet

on which we live,

but she is so much more to us.

our earth is our mother,

our only home.

she takes care of us like a tender

caregiver to a helpless infant.

she provides us with our life breath,

and yet, treated like a destined atrophy

by the very life she breathed.

she is our captivator, our friend,

our only saving grace.

landfills are cancerous tumors

on her tender and dying skin.

she is suffocated by the toxic fumes of human error.

her gracious limbs offer us plentiful flora and fauna

and yet we choose the mocking and pliable

duplicate of such beauty.

when she reaches out to us with her gentle breezes

and bright sunshine,

we hide away in our dark, dull,

ultimately congenial homes.

our earth deserves kindness.

like a loving mother,

she'll never abandon her flawed and imperfect children.

with simple kindness

our estranged life giver can be our mother once again.

she will sing with the once full breath

of a strong wind.

benign will be her tumors.

we will choose to love and cheris

her ingrained offerings as our way of life,

a life that wouldn't be without

our generous and matchless mother earth.

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