First-grader’s poem inspired by trip to La Jolla to be published and displayed across California

Zoe Corona visits La Jolla Shores on the day that inspired her poem.
Zoe Corona visits La Jolla Shores on the day that inspired her poem.
(Courtesy photo )

Zoe Corona of Poway wrote ‘The Pacific Ocean’ after a family visit last summer to La Jolla Shores.


Zoe Corona went on a staycation last summer with her family to La Jolla Shores. The 6-year-old Poway first-grader enjoyed it so much that she wrote a poem about her experience.

It’s titled “The Pacific Ocean”:

I love when the waves touch my toes.

It feels like I am home.

The sand in my toes fills my heart.

The seashell close to my ear.

I can feel the ocean in my heart.

Blue ocean.

White sand.

I am happy.

Zoe’s mother, Amanda Corona, entered the poem in the 2022 California Coastal Commission Poetry Contest. Zoe won an honorable mention as one of the top three entries for kindergarten and first grade.

Amanda and Zoe Corona plan on going on road trips to see Zoe's poem on display across California.
(Angela Brandt)

Now the poem has inspired a bevy of road trips for mother and daughter. “The Pacific Ocean” will be displayed in Ventura in May and June, in Mendocino in July and August, in Newport Beach in September and October and Marin County in November and December. The two hope to visit them all.

It also will be published online in the May issue of Chapman University’s Tab: A Journal of Poetry and Poetics.

“It’s my first time writing a poem,” Zoe said. “It made me feel good. I was a little nervous, but then I was feeling brave to do this.”

Amanda said she got the idea to help Zoe write a poem after receiving a challenge email from Zoe’s school, Garden Road Elementary, to create a poem about nature in California. She asked her daughter what she liked about that topic and the answer was — the beach.

“All together, we put it in a poem,” Amanda said.

Zoe said her two favorite things to do at the beach are to put her toes in the water and collect seashells. When she’s not on the sand, she likes to spend time with her father, Ignacio, her 3-year-old sister, Mila, and their Jack Russell terrier, Spencer.

“When I’m not at the beach, I draw the beach with paper and crayons,” she said. ◆