Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Twenty-sixth Contest :: First Place Winner


by Brittany Steck
I am a recipe for destruction,
for distraction,
for dysfunction.
My life is full of unmade beds
and unfinished poems.
It is full of unpacked suitcases
and unspoken words.
But you,
coming into my unpolished world,
were a recipe for completeness.
You became the one who ate the second half of my Little Debbie snack,
the one who took up the other half of the couch,
the one who stood on the opposite side of the mirror
always reminding me that I was perfect.

Packed into just four feet, nine inches,
you possessed the punch of a brave knight,
the heart of a beautiful princess,
the mystery of the midnight moon,
and the wittiness of a silly fairy.
When I felt weak against the dragons and the dungeons,
you were the little voice in the back of my head shouting,
“You are stronger.”
In my world full of nightmares,
you were a recipe for dreams comes true.

Like an old pair of shoes matched with a beautiful new dress
or a favorite book taken off the shelf and held in loving hands once more,
you were a recipe for transformation.
You made me want to be better.
You made me want to try harder.
You made me want to sing louder when others told us to pipe down.
You made me want to hit you in the face
and kiss you on the cheek
at the same time.

You were a recipe for adventure.
Our summers were the sum of
two parts sunshine
and three parts late night conversations.
I'll never forget the countless bike rides
or the way the sun glowed off your beautiful hair.
Or the way you giggled
as we tumbled down hills with our cousins
in the backyard of our grandparents' house,
faces smeared with sweet ice cream and heads full of hopeful dreams.
And in the winter, you kept me warm with the sweater I borrowed from your closet.
Or rather, the sweater I stole, sneaking it away without asking.
But you didn't mind.

We made mistakes.
We made memories.
And within the four walls of the bedroom we shared together,
we made our mother crazy.

We are no longer the little girls
in the sailboat sandbox.
We have outgrown Crashbox, Blue's Clues, and scraped kneecaps.
We are now the women in the photo from the beach,
facing the sea and facing the world.
You are the recipe for perfection.
You are my best friend,
cheering me up whenever I am blue.
You inspire me.
And even though you're just my little kid sister,
I want to grow up to be just like you.

About the Author
Brittany Steck likes long books, Christmas cookies, and getting caught in the rain. She dedicates this poem to the Lord, for His unending love, and (of course) her little sister, who now stands three inches taller than her. Check out her other creative works at
Second Place Winner
Blue Mountain Arts