ELIZABETHTON— The ElizAlliance recently announced the winner of its April poetry contest, held in honor of National Poetry Month.
The winner is Amanda Baxter, 31, an Elizabethton resident and mother of three girls aged 11, 5 and 4. She is originally from Oklahoma, but has resided in Tennessee for 13 years, where she is raising her daughters, who were all born in Tennessee.
Baxter had some pretty tough competition. Shanasha Acuna, president of ElizAlliance, said there were 21 submissions to the poetrycompetition.
The judges were Jilian Reece of Carter County Drug Prevention, Mary Ann Owen and Harley Williams, both of the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library.
Baxter received the top prize of $50 for winning the competition.
The judges obviouslyresponded to the poem’s message of maternal love and healing.
The poem is autobiographical. Baxter remembers a painful childhood and young adulthood, victim of a family cycle that she was able to break thanks to the love and happiness brought to her by the new life she was entrusted with. raise and nurture.
Baxter said when she explained the poem to her eldest daughter, the girl was very touched.
“You mean I did that?” Baxter said her daughter asked her in surprise.
This isn’t the first time Baxter has won a poetry contest. The first time was when she was only 10 and her class at school had to write a poem. Each student was asked to write down what they hoped the country would be like when it grew up. Baxter said his poem was selected by nothing else than former President Bill Clinton.
Here is Baxter’s winning poem in the ElizAlliance contest:
Born a baby with infinite potential
Variables in life, often exponential
Childhood brought pain, just a prelude
Empathy and love always seemed to slip away
Aged but no wiser, acclimated to wrongdoing
Hopeful for love, pushed into the arms of a narcissist
Malignant depression, taking a soul
Dead but still running, not in control
Reborn to the sound of a baby crying
Forced to life, body and mind conform
Strength returns like parental love
The fate of the baby now taken care of
Leaving what was once considered home
Embrace newness and many things unknown
New strength, new life, new smiles, now safe
There’s only happiness and love left to endureAmanda Baxter