In 2017, Highland Park Poetry invited poets to respond to Highland Park's collection of almost 30 pieces of outdoor public art throughout the streets, trails and parks. In 2020, Highland Park Poetry expanded the program to include more than 60 pieces of public art at Ravinia Festival, The Art Center of Highland Park, North Shore School District 112 and Keyth Security. Highland Park Poetry urged writers of all ages to go on a treasure hunt of discovery and find poetic inspiration among the sculptures. The idea behind the contest was that ekphrastic poems might expand community awareness and appreciation of the public art, perhaps leading to new understanding by both readers and viewers. Winning poems from the contest were published on temporary signs installed near the sculptures as well as on The Muses’ Gallery of Highland Park Poetry’s website throughout the summer of 2020.
The Red Tricycle
When he was very young
he was told that if he wished hard enough,
his wish would come true.
much too late,
he was told to be careful of his wishes,
that sometimes they came true
and were regretted.
He often thought back to the red tricycle,
to how he tried to ride it over too rough ground
and learned that even the most stable of things
and result in calamity.
He no longer makes wishes now