Winner spotlight: Sophia Diggs-Galligan

Meet Sophia Diggs-Galligan. She garnered both a Kids Poetry Contest first place ribbon for her age group and the first place prize over all for her poem “The Farmer.”

For this very first DC State Fair Kids Poetry Contest, youngsters in first through seventh grade from all over the city submitted their poetry on the topic of vegetables or gardens. We were stunned by everyone’s creativity. The final (and difficult) selection fell to our panel of esteemed judges.

The video shows Sophia reading her poem and keeping tremendous poise among the hubbub of the fair. Microphone assistance came from Kid Power‘s Grant Elliott and American Sign Language interpretation was courtesy of Birnbaum Interpreting Services. A transcript of the poem follows the jump.

Sophia Diggs-Galligan

First place, grades 6 and 7
First place, overall


The Farmer,
an aged man, weeds his vegetables, with such grace, such finesse, so delicately
as if they were his children, but they, his children, they are gone,
on to bigger and better things, and they never write.
Why should they?
The sun beats down on his back, and he feels the dirt in the crevices of his hand. The fabric of his shirt clings to his sweaty back.
and for the first time since he was a young boy
the ache in his muscles is almost too hard to bear.
He thinks. This, too is an unwelcome surprise.
a sign that says “the end is near” isn’t half as frightening as one that reads
“The end isn’t near” oh no. oh no.
The plants spread their tendrils out toward the sun, but the aged farmer
shades himself ……………………… collapses
on the hard packed dirt with a disorienting thud.
he makes his sacrifice for the vegetables.
leaving no legacy except for a gorgeous vegetable garden
and two lawyers who forget their fathers name.

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