Drumroll please! Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you KU’s 2015 National Poetry Contest first place winner:


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 Written by: Kelly Jo Brubaker, First Place Winner; Criminal Justice Grad KU e-Campus


The journey seemed longer today than yesterday.

7941… 7942… 7943. Nope, still the same; 7943,

The exact number of steps my feet had carried me every day for the past three years.

My tired back bends to fill my can to the very top before placing it steadily upon my head.

In three years I have gotten very good at this,

And a sense of pride revealed itself within the upturned corners of my mouth.

I spun around as sudden and graceful as a ballerina,

And the return trip began; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…

Halfway home, night fell upon the withered path my shoeless feet had left.

Scared and alone with nothing to keep me company but the African sky sprinkled with stars,

The glowing eyes and growling stomachs of the unknown longed for me.

Once in the impending distance, they now appeared hauntingly closer.

3497… 3498…3499! 3499! 3499!

I could not force myself to move and found myself frozen as they surrounded me.

As I fell to the ground, the water meant for my family was lost,

Watering the greedy dirt instead.

My name was Afua; I was born on a Friday.

I died on a Friday, too.

I was eleven.

I want to thank the winners for sharing their pieces of art with us here at ELSE. We definitely have some talented individuals here at KU!

As always students, if you want to share something on ELSE, or have any questions or comments, feel free to email me. I would LOVE to hear from you!

Your fellow KU student,