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by Claire Schwartz, 16, New York, New York

Puppet Master
Tugs at their strings
From which they laugh, kiss, love, hate, sing
Blink, it is dawn
Breathe, the day is done, the power
They instill in him
Enables him to go on, they commission
His rule.

His eyes just two
Sores, healed to some
And instantaneously
Blinded to the rest, pussing
With servitude, revulsion, scorn
That drips in drops
Cascading onto everything
He controls.

In autumn, throws
Blessings in
Hues of russet, apricot, gold onto
His puppets
Falsely appeasing them before he
Breathes his iciest
Breath, gently brushing their lips, chilling them from inside out
Mere whim.

If they survive
The frigid days, gives
Them hope with an embrace, thawing their souls,
Caressing them
With luminosity so vibrant it could be nothing
Other than a gift
From Him.

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