Congratulations to the fall 2017 Contest Winners:

Grand Prize for Writing

Little Eyes are Watching You By

Mom?
I have a question.
Not that you will hear it from my silenced lips,
But, mom?
Did you ever realize the impact you had on me?
My hair, it’s yours,
My humor, from you,
My habits, the same.
Mom?
Do you wear your seatbelt now?
You never did when I was young,
And so I thought it would be alright.
You see, it’s very uncomfortable,
an inconvenience of three seconds.
Three seconds.
That felt like such a long time,
Right, mom?
In three seconds you could
Send a text,
Flip on the radio,
Turn back and smile at me.
Three seconds held a lot of power,
And your actions showed me
This power is better used on these distractions
Than on the more menial tasks.
Life is valuable,
time is valuable.
So, what’s the use of fastening that strap?
What’s the use of lowering that screen?
Mama?
It’s funny, you gave me so many instructions
To ensure I valued my life,
“Please don’t drink or use drugs,
Make wise choices with your friends,
Drive safe.”
And I followed all of them,
Or, I followed you.
I copied your behaviors
Like you showed me to,
But now, you cry.
So, Mom?
I ask that you take a second next time,
Or three.
Take a moment to fasten the belt,
Put down your phone,
Keep the radio low,
Because little eyes are watching you.
Don’t cry, mom.
The choice has been made.
Three seconds of bliss,
Then heartbreak.
I thought I could manage like you,
But I’m sorry mom,
I guess that I could not.

Grand Prize for Music

Keep Your Dreams Alive

Runner Up for Music

Cuando Conduces

Honorable Mention for Writing

It Can Happen to You

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
You open your eyes
Everything is foggy
You don’t know where you are but all of a sudden you realize —
You gain back the feeling in your fingertips and feel the sheets of the bed
You see your reflection, is this vision?
Are you alive, or dead?
You open your mouth to speak, but it hurts
Your lips are cracked and dry
You can’t find the words
“What happened?”
That thought is replaying over and over in your head
Like a memory you wish you could forget
“You’re lucky to be here,” the nurse says as she checks the rhythm of your heartbeat
All the ones you love are surrounding you
Your mom on the edge of the bed,
Best friend on a hospital seat
What do you remember?
You’re thinking back
The horror had left you temporarily
Your head throbbing, terribly
Forgetting gave you peace, it was like a vacation
To think it all started with a snapchat notification,
“View this week’s Twitter highlights”,
An alarm sounding reminding you to take the trash out that night
You picked up your phone for a second
Those things were too important to wait,
Right?
Every time you’ve touched your phone you still managed to stop at each light,
Still managed to drive straight,
Speeding a little to avoid being late
Fixing your makeup,
Continuously fumbling with the radio
Trying to find even a single song you know
Going through every station
You’re a good driver,
You see no limitations
And then all of a sudden you don’t see anything at all
All those stupid things lead to this downfall
And it made you crash into another car

Inside were a daughter and her father,
All you can think about right now is how they are
All they wanted was to go out and get ice cream
Your decisions changed the fate of how their night turned out to be
Everyone was okay,
Luckily
Just think about recovery…
When you’re driving, that’s the only thing you should be focused on
This is a blessing and a lesson
You can tell your story
That if misused, a car can be a weapon
“It can’t happen to me”
The “it can wait” advertisements aren’t reality
But the fact is,
They are
So if you can’t stay off your phone,
Get out of your car.

Grand Prize for Art

Distracted Driving is Dangerous Driving

Grand Prize for Video

It was only a second PSA

Runner Up for Art

The Balance of Driving

Runner Up for Writing

Intermission

Looking back now, I remember the text.
It could have waited.
The light was green….no, red… green?
I went.
I remember the phone call,
laughing at the high school drama.
It could have waited.
I remember the song playing,
Singing and dancing with my friends in the car,
It could have waited.

Looking back now, I remember the text.
Where are you? We’re worried
The light was green I thought.
I went.
I remember the missed phone calls,
Four from dad and three from mom
I should have waited.
I should have stopped.
I remember the song couldn’t play,
through the broken stereo and smoke of the airbags.
I should have waited.

Runner Up for Video

Deadly Distractions