Kids’ poems reveal the promises and pains of springtime

10 original poems were chosen from nearly 350 that kids submitted for the KidsPost Poetry Contest.

(Illustrations by Natalia Cardona Puerta For The Washington Post)
6 min

A year after asking readers to reflect on the coronavirus pandemic for KidsPost’s annual poetry contest, we decided that a more uplifting theme is in order this year. So we asked kids, ages 6 to 14, to help us mark National Poetry Month 2022 by writing short, original poems about spring. The writers of the nearly 350 poems we received focused on images, emotions and experiences. Some poems were laser-focused; others were broad, like written landscape paintings. Many expressed hope and joy, but some reflected disappointment and annoyance (we hear you, allergy sufferers). Their creativity and well-chosen words delighted the judges, who selected 10 poems to highlight. Those poets will receive a prize package that includes Kwame Alexander’s “Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets” or Juan Felipe Herrera’s “Jabberwalking.” We hope that the verses published here will inspire other readers to express themselves — on spring or any other topic — through the art of poetry.

The Ballad of Spring

While Winter cackles at Earth’s rim

Spring creeps up at the back of him

Interrupting a freezing blow

“Make room for herbs to grow!”

Sprinkling seeds into the soil

While the sun and water toil

Forcing the winter snow away

“Come back frost another day!”

Twirling with her little dance

Continuing she does a prance

Freeing greenery from the snow

And causing tiny sprouts to grow.

Now the flowers are growing high.

“Come my friends, I say, arise!

After Winter’s windy days

It’s finally time for us to play!”

— Noah Xia, age 9, Fort Lee, New Jersey


I roost dusk to dawn in the calm, silent tree

Then chirp to fend off the rivalry.

Head under wing, wing brightest blue.

This old, gallant nest

Has seen the year through.

— Holly Scott, 10, Fairfax Station, Virginia

Seasonal Pain

People always say that spring is the best

Since they’re eager to escape their warm winter vest.

But I know the truth, yes I speak it with ease:

“Spring is the wor-” but it’s interrupted by a sneeze!

The room fills with a chorus of “bless-you,”

Yet this congested feeling still leaves me quite blue.

I’m at Spring’s mercy to do what it may please,

Oh, curse you, Spring, for giving me allergies!

— Zadie Maness, 13, Charlottesville, Virginia

The Season of Change

Seeds once dormant

Now peeking up from the ashes

Trees start with seeds

Rivers with rain drops

Change with one voice

Love created with a word

A song starts with a note

One sign one voice

A march on Washington

May May be the sprouting of good

Have March be a march for our future

May spring bring the awakening

Let us be the seeds of song

The rain drops of change

The sprout that started a forest

Let it spread like a mighty wave

Love, peace, and justice

Let us be the seeds

— Emerson Miller Gabriel, 10, Washington, D.C.



The bells that ring


The end

The end of all our troubles

The end of all the harshness


Closing down the darkness

But why

Why do we use this analogy?

Using spring

To spring ourselves forward into motion

Creating new notions of our world

Lying to ourselves, with all our might

Watching the birds take their flight

Humans are scavengers

we scavenge for light

And spring is that righteous adventure

And spring helps that light

Gleam bright

What does spring mean to me?

It’s the melody

That we sing

When there are no other

Bells to ring.

— Alice Frank, 11, New York, New York


My yes day

would be like pure sunlight outside.

It would be chaos in the house.

I would go to the beach,

the ocean would be waving, and saying hi.

there would be music playing in the park

and it would be a springtime Saturday evening.

Birds would chirp and my body would be filled with happiness.

— Gerome Wood, 11, Washington, D.C.

Sunshine Youth

There is hope in the air

The plants killed by winter are now resurrected

Life is now among us

Walking home from school

It’s easy to believe that the world turns so much happier,

Seeing the animals all reunite.

When the sun illuminates it,

The beauty of the world is evident.

The days are short,

Yet the time that I spend outside

Admiring the world on my second hand bike

Reminds me that I still have time to be young.

— Olayinka Osinowo, 14, Glassboro, New Jersey

Memories of a Dandelion

As I sit

in a field of grass

I see a dandelion

on the ground.

I pick it up and blow.

As the flakes

fly all around,

I begin to think,

does each flake

represent a memory

in the life of a dandelion?

I don’t know what memories

the dandelion might have,

but I think of my own

spring memories,

like when I was at Disney.

I thought I saw the

Easter Bunny.

I remember all the hikes

with my dad.

Spring flies by

and sometimes the small moments

are bigger than anything else.

— Finn Howard, 11, Alexandria, Virginia

The Playfulness of Spring


The season of thinkers


And inventors

It sets the stage for

New beginnings

A fresh slate

For all things extraordinary

And the time when

Extraordinary things happen so often

They become ordinary

Spring comes like a thief

Slowly, quietly

Biding her time

Noticed not by

A dramatic entrance

But gradual introductions

And before you know it


Has made herself known

— Redeat Yiesak, 12, Silver Spring, Maryland

The Inbetween

The inbetween.

Blurred lines, daffodils,

Another frost.

The sun shines bright

One morning, clouds fill the sky,

And rain pours from above the next.

Each day changes,

Shorts to pants to skirts and back again.

Spring doesn’t know how to make up its mind,

Straddling the line between winter and summer.

Spring tries to be its own season,

Its own personality, distinct traits.

No matter how hard it tries,

Spring is not its own.

Controlled by other forces,

The changing climate,

The melting glaciers and deforestation.

Spring will fade,

Oblivion will overtake it.

Spring will disappear,



— Elizabeth Cook, 13, Charlottesville