Grand Prize Winner
essay music painting poetry graphic photo story
Jurors' Awards


2010 Grand Prize Winner

by Michele Leggett
16 years old, Pennsylvania


Peace is a lovely, woolen blanket of stars to wrap us in
Against the cold and lonely bleakness of war.
Everyone hides beneath
The wrinkles from their smiles framing their eyes
And the warmth from their hearts bathing us in contentment.
The mother of the world is there
Tucking in her little children in their perpetual twilight
And telling her carefully woven stories.
No war is waged in the perfect world
No suffering, death, or pain
Only a blanket woven from peace.

But pure peace is an ideal
A blanket in itself that we use to steel ourselves
Against the icy daggers of disillusionment
The terror of not having an answer
And the loss of hope for a perfect world.

But there is an answer in the careworn storybooks
And the laps of mothers.
There is truth inside the nursery
Where someone will always hold your hand.
Peace is a small, bright place
Filled with the presence of those who love us
Where problems are solved by listening and learning
And love.


Grand Judge:  Ken Kolsbun is the author of National Geographic's book about the peace symbol, "Peace, the Biography of a Symbol".