I wrote this for the Arroyo Grande Centennial Celebration contest in 2011, and it won first place! It earned me an impressive medal and 100 years of immortality, as the poem was included in the time capsule buried in the town square.

Centennial Dreams:
           Looking back at 1911 from 2011

I wake with the dawn,
drapes opening to let in light
filtering between close-packed buildings
and closer-packed people
and smile at the centennial dress;
High-necked cotton organdy,
embroidered, ribbon-festooned,
worth a fortune these days,
flower-trimmed straw hat and high-button shoes
ready nearby for the celebration,
and think how quaint the town once was:
Space to breathe, to range, to live,
where life loomed large in its smallness,
bursting with promise and love.

I shed my daily synthetics,
and let yesterday’s rare organics
kiss my body, warm my heart,
and smile in wonder that,
in the huge density of life today,
we clothe ourselves in the past to find
a way to reach out and grasp
the best of what the future has buried:
Space in which to become small again
and fulfill the promise of love.