Emmy Song

Second Place, Poetry: “A Walk Down Lafayette Street,” by Emmy Song

Grade 11, Montgomery Blair High School, Rockville, Maryland, U.S.


a walk down lafayette street
Girl in a white dress tracing steps

she’s taken a thousand times, but every

time her legs tremble a little harder and

breath catches a little faster. She walks

in linear time, maintains constant velocity

to upkeep a mask of surety, beating on

against the friction between past and

future. Because when she’s a blur of

movement, the world is in limbo and

her luck cannot run out. Foreign shadows,

abrasive stubble, and smoked cigarettes

lurking around corners—this and the

crude weight of a drunkard are what she

fears. Her topography, the delicate

folds of her cotton dress, to rob them

would be sacrilege. And she continues

walking, borne forward by pure conviction

that the rise and fall of the sun will keep

her safe, as it had in the past. Friction

distorts, past and present future fuse,

and girl, like arrow, still ceaseless.



Emmy Song is a writer and high school student from Rockville, Maryland. She speaks out about social issues, such as gun violence and women’s rights, through poetry and journalism. Her poems have been published in various print and online publications, including Blue Marble Review, Sierra Nevada Review, and Rattle Young Poet Anthology. When she isn’t writing, Emmy advocates for gender equality in STEM fields and dabbles in videography. She intends to study applied mathematics and creative writing in college, and later use her education and skills to continue pushing for social justice.



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