Being Painted Black


In celebration of National Poetry Month, PARADE Classroom sponsored its third annual poetry contest. This year, America’ s Poet Laureate, Billy collins, judged the finalists. He selected “Being Painted Black,” by Laura Phillips, 16, of Port St. Lucie, Florida as the winner.

Being Painted Black

I feel like I am a parchment
That was colored in colors of gray.
I feel like I am a drop of ink
That is being wiped away.
I feel like I am being erased
From a pure and snow white canvas.
I feel like I am being redrawn
With charcoal, on a dark black surface
I feel like shades of black and blue
On a picture painted white.
I feel like the portrait of a withered tree,
On a bleak and dreary night.
I feel like a brush that’s been
stained and worthless
and can be used no more.
I know that when all is said and done
I am a poet with nothing to say
Whose words were scribbled down on
the paper of life.
All balled up and then thrown away

Laura Phillips

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