Cupertino Poetry Contest Winner's Poem; Teenage Category

Manasa Gogineni is the first place winner in the Cupertino Poetry Contest for contestants ages 13-17. This winning poem—written below—will be on display Feb. 1 to April 1 at the Cupertino Library.

By Manasa Gogineni 

My Cursive Backbone

My backbone is curved like a snake,

an ivory reptile that twists me on the inside

and outside.

Cursive, it serpents like an S.

It can’t be left to progress anymore,

so I have to wear a rigid plastic corset.


It’s called Scoliosis,

abnormal curvature of the spine,

left untreated they say your heart and lungs would

likely probably definitely explode

into a million crimson fragments.


People think it’s funny

to punch me in the stomach.

They call them abs of steel.

It makes me feel lonely but

I have to laugh with them.


So I pretend that back braces

are the new black

because I know a lot of people have it harder

and still make it through every day.


They say things like this will make you stronger,

make you harder to break,

and if this means having a turtle shell

for a few years,

I can’t wait to be weak.


Read more about the Cupertino Poetry Contest in these related articles:

City's Poetry Contest Winners Announced

First Poetry Contest Offered By City's Poet Laureate

Cupertino Patch featured the winner of the Child category, Advait Patil, on Wednesday, and  the Adult category winner on Friday.

Robin January 25, 2013 at 12:24 AM
This is beautiful and made me cry. You will become stronger, inside and out! Thank you for sharing.
Anne Ernst January 25, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Isn't it a wonderful poem? I got choked up reading it, too. Love it!
Lakshmi January 25, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Today I am really glad I started subscribing Patch. Thank you Manasa ... for the lovely poem which really puts life and its troubles in perspective for me.


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