Skip to main content

Chloe Salmans, 2024 2nd Place Poetry

Submissions for Poetry are open to one poem that was completed for coursework during the last calendar year. Submissions should not exceed 5 pages. Chloe Salmans wrote the 2nd place submission in the Poetry Category for the 2024 President’s Writing Awards.

About Chloe

Chloe standing in front of a mural at Freak Alley gallery

Chloe Salmans is a senior in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communications program, graduating in the summer of 2024. Her passions are for reading and writing, and particularly enjoys poetry for both. When she is not reading or writing, she is going on walks, watching movies, or finding a new creative hobby.

Winning Manuscript – Daughter of Eve

I was born into a garden of Eden,
told where to be and how to believe;
if it crossed my mind, I thought it.

I placed the crown atop his head,
pulling my own hair out from under;
leaving power with those who bought it.

Despite the trickle of fountains
bearing clear-tasting water and music,
I thirsted, I learned to be dishonest.

Placing blame on the ones who learned not to take it,
the abstract became something stronger;
I saw the shape underwater and caught it.

If I peered between the gold, found landscape beyond,
the joy would be no longer;
I would know the end before I sought it.

I am a stranger to my limbs,
like failing to float upward I crawl down,
he gave me my name and I lost it.

My body is my own, yet it aches and I release—
if pain is the place where belief bears fruit,
my limbs are heavy with the weight of promise.