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Perham 13-year-old wins Minnesota poetry contest

Nickolas Listrom won a statewide poetry contest for military children with his poem entitled, "Through Him." Listrom recently took a trip to St. Paul to meet Senator Al Franken and his wife Franni Franken (pictured), as well as Major General Richard Nash. Submitted photo

Perham seventh grader Nickolas Listrom visited Senator Al Franken's office in St. Paul recently, after winning the statewide poetry contest, "My Experience as a Military Child."

"My poem made my aunt cry," Listrom said in an interview last week, adding, "My dad liked it."

For military appreciation month in April, Senator Franken sponsored a contest, and winners from each of the categories - kindergarten through sixth, seventh through ninth, and 10th through 12th - were chosen and awarded an autographed version of Garrison Keillor's 'Good Poems,' plus a certificate.

Listrom was also given a chance to meet Major General Richard Nash of the Minnesota National Guard, in addition to Senator Franken and his wife.

Listrom's dad, Matthew Listrom, serves as Sergeant First Class for the Minnesota National Guard. He currently works out of Camp Ripley and is scheduled for a deployment to Afghanistan in November. In 2008-09, he was deployed to Iraq.

Nick's poem, "Through Him," follows.


He answers the call that not many do

I answer that call too, through him

He does a job not many do

I do that job too, through him

It is a job he's proud to do

I am proud to do that job too, through him

He defends our Nation

I defend our Nation through him

He goes to dangerous places

I go too, through him

Although I do these things through him

It does not get any easier

I am young

I am scared

I am proud

I am angry

I am frustrated

I am lonely

I do not wear these emotions on my sleeve

I wear these emotions on my heart

Where only I can see and feel them

A soldier does not show emotions

They stand Tall and Proud

I am a Military Child

I stand Tall and Proud, too