Editor’s note: Ardra Arwin, 9, is a third grader and resident of the East Renton Highlands. This poem, reflecting her longing to play at a nearby playground and see friends amid the COVID-19 pandemic, was recently chosen as a winner in the kids category of King County Library System’s Rhyme On! contest

Let’s not go out and play!

The sun is shining so nice and bright

Spring blossoms sparkling through the sunlight!

I open up my windows,

And feel the fresh air

Oh, I have waited for this so long,

Spring is in the Air!

The bunnies and birdies,

Busy at play

The breeze that blows,

Through the trees that sway!

But when all is so nice and bright,

I wonder why the playgrounds are so dull and quiet!

No one on the streets

No one in the park

The swings are empty

It is tearing me apart!

I miss my buddies,

I miss going to school

It is going to be summer soon

But there is no one going to the pool!

I ask my mother

Why can’t I go out and play?

She tells me

There are scary viruses

That will catch us like a prey!!

What can we do?

We stay at home.

I watch my baby brother

And play all day at home!

Mommy makes me feel nice

She bakes me my favorite cookies and pies.

Daddy says he has a lot of work to do

But I know that, he loves me a lot too!

So when I look out the windows,

I just want to go out and play

Back on those swings

Swinging so high

Racing down with my bike

All the way I like!

Soon it will be summer

And I’ll be able to go to the beach

For mommy and daddy tell me

That we may have to take a flu shot, each!

So until then I say —

“Let’s not go out and play!”