Oceans of Possibilities Youth Poetry Contest Winner

Summer Reading

Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Aug 10, 2022

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that the winners to our summer contest writing on the theme of Oceans of Possibility. Our 12-14 year winner is entitled, "The Thank You Bag" by Kennedy Kirkland.

The Thank You Bag

The Ocean

Known for

Flowing, crashing waves

And an eternal blue hue

Color for miles on end


But far from where waves rise and fall,

Far from where laughter hovers in the air

Is a white, crinkled


With a bright yellow “Thank You” embroidered upon it


The bag lifts and sinks

As tide shifts

As water continues on its endless journey

As the current sweeps debris

Like children sweep leftover sand

Away from their treasured sandcastles


Bumbling along with the water is

A pod of dolphins

Whistling, clicking, jumping

They leap

And crash down

With vibrant splashes

The bag’s handle catches a dolphin tail

And is pulled along for the ride

Under, over

Up, down


So forceful

As if it was a magnet pulled by metal

The dolphin dragging the Thank You bag

Flings itself out of the water

Higher than any other leap


And the Thank You bag is set free

Instead of a dolphin, it now drags with the wind

Until the wind falters

And plops the Thank You bag

Back into the water

So on it sails


Even as the sun disappears

And the moon comes

Big and bright

Even as the sun returns

And the moon fades

The Thank You bag drifts along



A large wave strikes

But not because the surface is near,

Because a whale is swimming

With a body larger than three school buses

And a propelling tail


It gulps in air

Unable to breathe under the ocean depths

And then it dives

Just below the Thank You bag


Then whooshes back up

And the Thank You bag is left stuck

In the blowhole

The whale returns to the deep

Through baleen, filters food

And swallows


It can feel the Thank You bag

An unpleasant feel

Like an itch you cannot reach

Or a sneeze that won’t come


So back up goes the whale

And in moments

It spurts water-and the Thank You bag-out of its blowhole

Only to dive down again


The Thank You bag continues on its way

As does the whale

The former floats up,

While the latter sinks down


Over many sunrises, sunsets

Moonrises, Moon falls

The Thank You bag is carried

By both air and wind


Getting closer



To shore


The bag is swept

But this time

Not by dolphin

Not by whale

Nor any other living, breathing creature

But by a wave as it crashes into sand

With a splash

And then it heeds the call as it is beckoned away


Now free from its watery trap

The Thank You bag floats on the breeze


A hand, outstretched, has grabbed the Thank You bag

A human hand

It twists the Thank You bag

Gazes at it

And puts the Thank You bag into another bag


Stuck again

But not for long

Because the Thank You bag

Will be freed

After it’s recycled.

Reviewed by Dave C.
See their Lists and Reviews in our Catalog!