PLD Yearbook

Daniel Bernitt, Poet Laureate 2004


The 2004 Poet Laureate is Dan Bernitt. His poem is titled "Apex."

We perch at the apex

of youth and legality,

trying to figure out what to do

with the remaining remnants

of fading mortality

because after we straighten up our bedrooms,

sent packing up for our dorm room,

we shove everything into boxes

and send back

the memories of our past.

We pour out the muddy watercolor

mixed from years

and fill the basin

with our fresh fears.


Appearing in the dirt

as it swirls down the drain 

hundreds of tales

though the story

remains the same.

Dialogue distilled down

to the brown:



As we fell for the idea 

of a pool on the third floor,

our little minds

understand the effects of capitalism




We were some of the youngest

able to comprehend

what happens

when a plane turns into a missile.

when a girl clutches her brother,

trying to explain why mommy and daddy aren’t coming home.

when disillusionment hits hard,

hits long. 




research papers,

stomp projects,

and enough bubble forms

to instigate madness.



Late nights

revising portfolio pieces

and sighing relief

when May emerged.


It’s been a roller coaster ride.

the anticipation of reaching the top of the hill 

anxious about our steep decline.


but shhh…


we’re still in one piece.


We leave behind a legacy

we’ve yet to understand.

We stand strong 

waiting for our next palette.


May these memories

line the walls inside your head,

May the colors not turn sour green,

May we still be able

to fill in the details

of each scene.


May you see the picture

outside its frame.


-Dan Bernitt

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