2012 National Finalists

Driving at the End of the World

“Have you ever been to the end of the world?”
Grandpa’s eyes twinkle as he looks down on us
Two tow-headed kids in old jeans, one in a pink cowgirl shirt
We nod dumbly, not quite sure what this means
But ready for an adventure
Grandpa revs the engine of his ancient bright red convertible
And we fly down Main Street past Sonic Burger and the 99 Cent Store
Twenty seconds later, our town melts into wind-blown gold grass
And we are utterly deliciously alone
In Kansas there is a special kind of silence
The peaceful, not the lonely kind
That comes from living on and with the land
Sometimes we talk, sometimes we say nothing
We drive until we come to an old
Wooden gate that says, “End of the Road.”
Beyond it, the horizon beckons
And the grass sways, an earthly vision of heaven


Cameron Manor, age 12
San Juan Capistrano, California
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
Teacher: Lori Manor

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