We invite you to read, enjoy, and learn from the creative writing pieces that Elon students have submitted to the 2013 Human Rights and Social Justice Writing Contest.
If you are an Elon student, we encourage you to join the conversation by submitting your own entry.
My blood mixes with sweat creating an impure amalgamation as it deliberately rolls down the creases of my face
This is a white mans’ justice Read More
Until that hot, rainy day in April when I was six, I had led a happy, carefree life. The beloved youngest child of my parents, I was my father’s clear favorite. In Somalia, as in many other places, the man is the head of the household. My mother raised the children, managed the finances, and had her own job as well. Although my father was busy working to support his family, he always took the time when he came home to talk to each of his three wives and to me. Read More
Gazed off in the distance
Avoiding my stare,
She picked at her bracelet
Played with her hair. Read More
I was born on a night as translucent as my skin. When you looked up at the sky through the hospital window, you could see the blue-black curtain of midnight through the stars as clearly as you could see the scarlet of my blood running beneath my flesh. Everyone said it was a night of promise. A night that crisp in the middle of storm season ought to portend something, after all, and the entire town was in an excited frenzy, fueled by the gossip and curiosity the transparency bred. Read More
Aao naa pyaari; look away from mother.
She does not hear your whimpering when Rupee seduces from
the hollows of men’s pockets,
down in the alleys. Read More
I’m not going to bullshit you. It was two in the morning and pretty intense out there. The only thing driving me was the knowledge that, if I succeeded, I could one day gather my kids around the fire and tell them all about this. It was so cold out that I felt like I was running through a never ending outdoor freezer. By the time I finished, my legs felt like they were made of jelly and I had to sit down. Read More
Sunbeams bounce off the Honduran coast,
Igniting my freckles to embers,
I smile in boast about my good deeds,
Of helping those in need. Read More
The first time anyone tried to set me on fire, I thought I was dreaming. I could all but hear Mammy’s voice in the kitchen, little Davante crawling toward the fire beneath the crumbling mantle, reaching out his tiny fingers to feel its warmth, my seven-year-old frame folded up on the sofa like a fat cat. But suddenly, when the heat started to crawl up my jacket, stitching flames into my sleeves and skimming the skin of my wrists, fully awake and aware of the heat on my arm, my eyelids burst open and I shot up from the park bench. Read More
Enter the lab.
It is a smell you can never wash out-
Not formaldehyde, but blood. Read More
You see long legs, a short skirt, high boots- no matter what I wear.
You see a flirtatious laugh and a too-long touch.
You see a kind word, spoken in respect, as a sexual invitation.
You see a soft heart to work over, a gives-too-much spirit. Read More
I know the work of the evil man
I know his doings and his language
With those words he leaves dark bruises in my head
With those words he unleashes invisible biting spiders that torment me like hundreds of bad thoughts in my wake and in my dreams Read More
Pitted between nothingness
and holiness, it is a dead land,
fossilized in time
with the shards of seashells,
uplifted from the sands
by our questioning feet. Read More
A lone fishermen spits,
(ripped jeans, bristled beard,
hocked loogie feeling
his birth marshes
taken from him under glittering stars. Read More
I wonder if you are reading this wearing the frog pajamas that I hate. Ever since you sent me that photo, it’s all I can picture of you. Before I go on, I want you to know that I’m okay. I’ve currently taken a leave from Invisible Children to stay with some friends I have made in northern Uganda to work with rehabilitation programs. Read More
A force that binds us together as a community.
When strung together they share information,
Give our lives meaning. Read More
They say bad things happen in threes
I sure hope so because there’s only so much loss
the heart can bear
Everyone tells me that things will get better
and that things will be okay
but I don’t WANT it to get better Read More
Get out of my way Brown girl
I'm walking here
My North Face jacket and cowgirl boots
won't stand for your presence
See this Longchamp purse?
It cost more than you spent
on textbooks this semester
And I have it in five colors Read More
Can one describe to the boy
That woman standing on the city street,
And all that pretty make-up she’s wearing?
It’s not his mother’s beauty anymore,
And you can almost see him realize it
As he looks on her dark, dank eyes…
For he is not blind. Read More
“I was a traveling musician.” The plumb man looked off into space for a moment then reengaged Mr. Gilridge.
“Where did it end?” remarked Mr. Gilridge.
“Where did what end?
“Why your traveling musicianship of course.” Read More
You cannot choose what you are, but if the spirit can claim any distinction from the body, mine made a choice to be born Jewish. It is in every essence of me, despite my limited knowledge of Hebrew and my tendency to drift from some laws. Read More
Women abounding with colors astounding!
Smooth pearls gleam and glimmer
Taunt seams haunt the dreams
Of rich and powerful men Read More
The doorbell rings, and the clock chimes,
Rushing to the door, guests are here,
The table is lined with desserts and white wines,
The air is filled with holiday cheer. Read More
Does it matter who my god is
Il fight for you
If were on this earth together
Why couldn't there be two Read More
Why should it be wrong to
be on the outside? Conformity is wrong.
Working together is good but conformity is wrong. Read More
Ahh “This Week At Elon” a literary treat,
A weekly publication, a scholarly feat.
I open the link with an excitable click,
Such information, oh wow! My heart starts to tick.
I scan and I scroll, searching’s no sin.
For a competition or contest, something to win! Read More
The Center for Writing Excellence is pleased to announce our fourth Annual Summer Writing Institute!