All I Know is the Smell of Smoke, et al

All I Know is the Smell of Smoke



All I know is the smell of smoke,

drifting across a hundred blocks.

Burning buildings engrained into the screen;

missing persons posters on every corner.

Drifting across a hundred blocks,

the fear for our nation and loved ones.

Missing persons posters on every corner,

the Pledge of Allegiance taught to first graders.


The fear for our nation and loved ones

etched into our country’s honor.

The Pledge of Allegiance taught to first graders

asking innocent questions of a guilty time.


Etched into our country’s honor,

the safety of a nation shattered.

Asking innocent questions of a guilty time:

Why do bad things happen?



The safety of a nation shattered.

Burning buildings engrained into the screen.

Why do bad things happen?

All I know is the smell of smoke.


Take me to Hullabaloo



Take me

to abracadabra

and hullaballoo.

Show me the way

to hide and seek,

and ring around the rosie.


Take me back

to dewy eyes

coated in wonder, and

fudge sticky fingers

licked one at a time.


Take me

to stuffed animal dreams

and mermaid souls.

To make-believe mornings

and naptime noons.



Bring me back

to macaroni frames

and princess pretending.

To when an hour

was a year.



Show me

where we stored

our hopes and desires.

In our

cardboard crayon

boxes? Or

our plastic

play dough cans?



Teach me

how to be

the silly sound

of giggles, and

the sweet taste

of June.


Take me

to abracadabra

and hullaballoo.

Lauren Feiner
Age 16, Grade 11
Bronx High School of Science
Gold Key

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