Previously, three Missouri student poems received honorable mention. Only the top ten poems from each age level of the Missouri State Poetry Society Contest were eligible for submission at the national level. The contest is open to all USA students in grades 6 -- 12, including public, private and parochial schools. Cash Prizes are awarded in each Division, and winning poems are published in the Manningham Trust Poetry Student Award Anthology. Winners will receive complimentary copies. The schools of each winning student will receive a complimentary copy for the school library.
Commenting on Garner's poem, a senior division judge said, "Delightful imagery, a reflection of natural beauty, unforced, right." Garner's English teacher at Central High School is Abigail Beckwith. Garner's poem is reprinted below:
Yellow kisses of light burst off the once-still reflecting pool.
I breathe warm summer air
and put wrinkles on all that look within it.
The sun smolders with anger, glares at me--
scolds me for disturbing the stillness.
I flow over small green mountains
like a downward stream.
As I pass, the peaceful weeds wrestle each other and
lazy daffodils dance with me in the golden light.
I weave through muddy brown trees,
and the pea-green leaves applaud me.
I take my bow and move on to the rest of the world.