Aniridia poetry international competition results

Woman and child wearing sunglasses and medals runningCongratulations to Angie in Canada, the winner of our international poetry competition!

The poems were judged by an international panel from the aniridia community:

  • Katherine Atkinson – UK
  • Galina Gening – Russia
  • Kelly Trout – USA
Kelly who is Health Consultant for the International WAGR Syndrome Association said “You didn’t tell me that it would be so hard! Every poem is just so heartfelt and creative and beautiful.”
Runners up poems were judged to be “To Patients with Aniridia”, “Bekah’s Aniridia” and “My Blue Black Eyes”.
All the poems were excellent and more poems were entered into the UK’s competition but this was decided to be the best in the world!:

Poker Pearls

Rare, black beauties, fragile yet hardened,
Etched by life and plagued with pains.
My grandfather’s poker pearls, then my mother’s,
And now passed on to me.
A rarity and a curse for this family tree.

Unclouded jet blacks in youth I had.
Now I peer through frosted, flawed glass.
What is happening? Why can’t I see? Why can’t we cure this?
I can’t breathe.
Tired, I must protect these wounded gems.

So many questions, my life, an endless quest for answers.
Hoping, Wishing, Searching, through my years.
Familial, sporadic, unknown origins, does it even matter?
I discover and stare at molecular language in dismay.
It’s those broken polypeptides chains hurting my poor Aunt May

Dreams for a future looked dried up.
Please hear me, teacher, I won’t ever give up!
So badly I wanted what others had, unrestrained, easy lives.
Forbidden thoughts of careers kept crowding my mind.
How do I escape the legacy that dictates what I can never be?
How will I prove wrong and succeed?

Now I stare at blessed perfection, my own reflection in young healthy poker pearls
Time will not remain kind you see.
Uncertainty, Anxiety, Fear grips me
I can’t sleep.
How do I stop it, history’s cursed legacy?

Wishing she’d been gifted the root beer browns like the Richardson’s
Or the ancestral arctic blues as did her cousins, the Morin’s.
I broke my own heart gambling as she received those eerie blacks of the Rossignol’s.
In absolution, I must find strength and courage through my progressive losses
To keep these little black time bombs stable, no matter what the cost is.

Don’t worry so much maman!
My young Rossignol chirps me sweetly out of sorrows
The surprises of these poker pearls are for tomorrow. 2017

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