By Lina Zhang, Class of 2021, Otis Winner (20-21 School Year)

The William Otis Smith Prize for English Verse is given in memory of a member of the Class of 1907 and is awarded to that student who, in the judgment of the English Department, has submitted the outstanding verse during the past year.

Yesterday I saw

The purple flowers 

Sweep across the branches

And caress the lonely bees

Two weeks ago mother said

They’d never bloom

It was too cold outside—then it snowed—then the wind 

That hurled itself against my window one night

Raging, and stole away the lights

As if it, too, wanted company

But left the flowers untouched

If just a little worse for wear

They seem, quietly, to have cheated death

There was no epiphany when the first bud bloomed

Just a picture

That I took behind the window

And deleted a few minutes later

When it came out the wrong shade

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