How long had it been? Six weeks? Seven? I couldn't remember. It seemed like all the time in the world had passed since they did the tests. They said five to eight weeks and I knew it would arrive any day.

1st Place

Ryan Watson

The Letter

How long had it been? Six weeks? Seven? I couldn't remember. It seemed like all the time in the world had passed since they did the tests. They said five to eight weeks and I knew it would arrive any day. Here it was. It was a cold day and as I walked back to my house from my mailbox I rubbed my arms and felt the little scar where they had removed a small part of me. That small part of me that would tell them if the Dr. Lee was right, and my body was sick. Back in October I had gone to the doctor for a normal checkup. Everything was normal except for the little bump on my arm. I thought it was just a bruise, and thought nothing of it. Dr. Lee was concerned. Then he said that one little word. Cancer. The one word that I feared the most. The one word that had taken so many good people. Aunt Linda, Grandma Adams.... Mom. They always said I was at risk but I never worried. Then Dr. Lee found that bump, and got scared. I got scared. For weeks I could hardly sleep, I worried myself sick. The screening didn't help at all but I had sort of come to accept it in the past couple weeks. Then I checked the mail one day almost forgetting about the results, but how could I? As soon as I saw the flowery little logo of the clinic on the envelope I remembered. It all came back, the fear, the worry. I lay the envelope on the table, delaying the inevitable news. It could be good, or it could be bad. I could be healthy, or my body could be killing me. Who knew? The letter did. My hands trembling, I picked up the white envelope and slowly tore it open. I unfolded the paper and slowly looked down the paper for the box that that would be check or dashed. Then I saw it. As the results sank in, I felt tears rolling down my face. They tasted sweet.


2nd Place

Morgan Pearce

The Warrior

The time has come to give it all you have,

You've waited all week for this war.

This victory will not be cut in half,

The losers will be shot to their core

You're focused with your eyes fixated on the win,

You put the jersey on with a sense of pride.

The feeling of the jersey is determination on your skin,

Then you pray for god to be your guide.

Next you pull up your long stained socks,

The grass stain is there for motivation.

The green is from the ball you slid to block,

Your heart raced along the side of the crowd's ovation.

Last comes your worn down cleats.

You're proud of the wear and tear.

They work hard every day, nothing defeats,

So when you get into battle, you leave nothing to spare.

You start to walk out of the locker room,

Your eyes fixated on the prize.

Picturing the opponent facing their doom,

You look up, determination in your eyes.

Then you step on the turf,

This is your battleground.

The feeling is like the mist of water when you surf,

It's now time to make your work profound.

The two teams, red and white,

They are in passion, ready to attack.

Now is when you let all your work ignite,

Time for the game, there's no turning back.

You hear the whistle give its blow,

The 90 minutes has now begun.

There's no holding back, time to let go,

Show the other team how it's done.

This is the battle you live for,

You are a fierce warrior at heart.

There is nothing that you can ignore,

Your love for this game will never part.

Determination is who you are,

Soccer is your war.

You don't care about a scratch or scare,

A warrior is what you stand for.


3rd Place

Will Newton

Indecisive Ohio

One day, it's eighty below,

The next day, warm winds blow.

Later on, you'll believe in global warming,

Ten minutes later, your TV reads "Tornado Warning"

The weather is hot.

The weather is cold.

It always surprises you,

But this can get really old.

The weatherman will say, "Good chance for a snow day tomorrow!"

Twelve hours later, you're calling your friend for some shorts to borrow.

In a few days, there's enough snow to fill a silo.

Indecisive Ohio.


Honorable Mention

Rachel Long

The Dog

The dog that my parents rescued.

The dog that was a mutt.

The dog that was a sweetheart.

The dog that rarely let out a bark.

The dog that loved to play.

The dog that chased animals in his back yard.

The dog my family could talk to.

The dog that listened and talked back.

The dog that barely ever had health issues.

The dog that moved with my family three times.

The dog that everyone loved and knew.

The dog that passed away.

The dog that is buried on my family's farm.

The dog that is missed greatly.

A picture of this dog hangs in the living room.

The dog that was my family's best friend.

That dog's name was Buckeye.

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