"A War to End All Wars," Bowie Yung, 10th Grade, Townsend Harris High School

The sky burned with rippling molten fire, Darkened with the merciless hail of lead.

The screams of men and horses coalesced

Into a cacophony that roared and raged and rumbled.

It pursued me as I raced through the battleground, Stained with friend and foe alike.

I could not shake the blood off my hands.

The haunches of the smoke engulfed me,

Muffling my cries, stinging my eyes.

But the tanks and cannons were relentless, More unfeeling than an evil man’s heart.

My hand convulsed every time they boomed.

My gun dangled by my side, stiff and pathetic.

No cavalry would rush over the hill to save us.

I raced back to the trenches, well aware that they were no more.

Dying heroically in battle wasn’t high on my list of priorities.

Cursing the president’s name, I buried into a swarm of corpses, I lied down and mimicked the stance of a nearby unfortunate soul I forced myself to remain still, ignoring my restless heart.

I closed my eyes, squeezed the letter in my pocket, and waited.

Time flickered like a melting candle.