Johnna, my daughter, is PUBLISHED! “Spots of Despair”


The Southern Lakes Anthology is a writing and art contest for third through eighth graders in all of Southern Wisconsin. Each school district may enter only 24 pieces for this competition.  Entries are submitted and judged at the district level. From there, they go to the regional-level judging to compete against their peers from other area school districts in the Southern Lakes region.

This is put on by the Whitewater Talented and Gifted Network. Students in participating districts can submit one of three types of writing–poetry, prose, or illustrated writing–for possible inclusion in the Southern Lakes Anthology. Yesterday was the awards ceremony for the winners from 32 different school districts.  

The theme this year was “MAKE A MARK” .  Here is Johnna’s winning poem, I am so proud of her!  I believe she was the only 8th grader from the Milton School District to make it!


© 2013 Johnna Walsh

red, splotchy, cancer-filled marks.
When we found out,
we left marks.
Hot tears streaming down our faces,
our noses stuffy,
our eyes puffy.
Doctors tried to help,
they only left more marks,
scars, stitches, and staple marks.
You left a mark on us,
Not a visible mark,
the kind of emotional mark you can’t see.
We left a mark on you.
We could tell by the way you clutched our hands as you passed.
Life is nothing but a bunch of marks.
One day, a mark could come along and destroy you inside and out.


  1. Ah, like mother, like daughter! Both beautiful and both gifted 🙂 Strong in the Lord too. That song kept running through my head as I read this. I’ll have to look it up 🙂 Blessings to you this weekend. As of today I am unemployed again so hope to get back to blogging soon…miss it..miss you 🙂

  2. Hallelujah! One day when you are old (a long, long time from now 🙂 ) you will be able to pass your mantle down to your daughter. Already, I can see how greatly the Lord has gifted her. Please tell her congratulations. I am very impressed that one so young is able to express herself so well. That is truly a gift, and I don’t blame you for being proud of her. She isn’t my daughter, but because she is the daughter of my sister, I’m proud of her too!

    Much love to you, my friend.


    • Thank you Cheryl, what a beautiful picture – passing the mantle…I will share your blessings with Johnna! 😉

  3. Awesome. You are both blessed by God with a talent for reaching people through words…very touching. Congratulations to both of you.

  4. That’s very impressive! You have every right to be proud. Congratulations to Johnna!

    • Thanks Gail, I’ll tell her when she gets home! I love watching our kids grow and succeed – thank you Jesus!

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