-- grade 4, Notre Dame de Sion, Kansas City
The War of the Rose
If spray-grounds were battlegrounds,
the war would wage on,
until the air was filled with sounds
of triumph and joy, echoing off the pond.
The victors would then pose,
beside the red, red rose.
Comments: The judges liked the maturity of metaphor and the surprising juxtaposition of the beauty of a rose with the harshness of war.
Well done, Piper!
Congratulations to our 2016 Winners!
-- grade 6, Notre Dame de Sion, Kansas City, MO
The Traveling Rose
Blowing onto my doorstep, tired from your journey.
Sitting on the front porch, waiting to be found.
Your red petals are trimmed with brown now.
The color brown, which is found so alive in things,
means for you, the end.
Still, though, there is some resemblance to the beautiful rose that was lovingly
As if there was no longer a use for you, flung into the grass.
Coming to me, wilting in sadness for all you have lost.
There is no reversing your past, but there can be some hope.
Never the same as your life where you were meant to be.
Finding a new beginning to start your end.
Comments: The judges admired Anna’s use of color imagery and the way the poem opens up at the end, so that the reader can find a greater, more universal meaning.
Because there were abundant, well-written entries in the upper grades, the judges would like to give honorable mention to the following students. They have talent, and we hope they will continue to write.
-- grade 7, Moreland Ridge Middle School, Blue Springs, MO
I’m from Hoping
I’m from hoping.
I’m from laughing at times,
Screaming at others.
I’m from hearing
The shouts, seeing the hitting
Then feeling it later.
I’m from crying and wishing.
It would end soon,
But soon was never soon enough.
I’m from a house of two boys,
(My brother like a dad,
My dad an abusive stranger.)
A stranger that was my favorite
Person to be around.
A stranger that is never to be seen again.
I’m from moving from foster home
To foster home.
I’m from being scared of men,
Never knowing if they’re like him.
I’m from hiding and keeping my
Mouth closed, unless I was told to do otherwise.
I’m from my heart feeling like a dying rose, falling
Apart piece by piece.
Comments: The judges thought this was a very powerful poem. The poet used line breaks very effectively, and delaying the use of the word “rose” made it more impactful - a devastatingly moving ending.
-- 7th grade, Moreland Ridge Middle School, Blue Springs, MO
Scars of Freedom
Blood, deep red like the tips of rose petals,
bubbles on the battlefield.
men and women,
sacrificing lives for pure patriotism.
The families back home tingling with fear,
scared to know.
The smell of gunpowder
surrounds the barracks,
while the soldiers prepare
weapons for armed conflict.
Faces are rock hard
with little to no emotion,
though on the inside you can see them trembling
with sorrow and terror.
They know freedom
is not free,
when they see the blood,
deep red like the tips of rose petals,
bubbling on the battlefield.
Comments: The judges admired Anna’s sophisticated treatment of what it means to serve in the military. She also used strong imagery, especially red color imagery
-- grade 5, Notre Dame de Sion, Kansas City, MO
Roses in the Sunset
My petals shone like a star, as the sun set over my home, Loose Park.
All the birds and animals were going peacefully to sleep as the moon rose.
My mysterious vines were a deep dark green. All of my neighbors in the rose
garden were closing their petals as they drifted off into the world of dreams.
My magenta petals looked blue, like the shining lake or the blue on the
raven’s illuminating night. Sky blue feathers. I was getting ready to drift
off into the world of dreams that gives me rest each day. I looked into the
magical night and thought that I was a very lucky rose who had an amazing
Comments: Tyler’s prose poem has strong color imagery. Judges liked that the poet took the point of view of the rose and made the flower the speaker in the poem.