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Madelyn Hotaling

I think it’d look like snowfall

If I ever got to see it

Silent, peaceful, painful

Stillness that devolves being


Or perhaps it’s early autumn

Just before the air turns cold

Changing, spiral, colors

What’s been youthful becomes old


But even in the summer

In the midst of May or June

Humid, tendrils, sunlight 

Soft decomposition blooms


And this ever moving cycle

March to the beat of nature’s drum

Is mother’s perfect chorus

In an ever-present hum


So death is not too fearful

In August, March, or May

For in it lies a rhythm

One can always trust decay

Madelyn Hotaling is 16 years old and attends Lakewood Ranch High School. Her poem “The Problem” won third place in the 2022 Manatee Libraries and 805 Teen Poetry Contest.

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