Young Writers Project: Writing About Being Right, and a Letter to a Bully

This week, Young Writers Project publishes responses to the prompts, Being right: Describe a time when you were sure that you were right, but someone else had a different view; and General writing.

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with audiences through the Newspaper Series (and youngwritersproject.org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net).

The honesty of it pains me,

That I’m smarter than you,

I’m happier, funnier,

And healthier too.

 

You and your politics,

Your philosophical meaning,

Doesn’t mean a thing,

‘Til the freedom bell’s ringing.

 

Outsmart me in court,

Or in musical theory,

But I still know more,

About love and about fury.

 

You complain about stress,

Taxes and elections,

The living room is flooded,

With the newspaper sections.

 

I know how to live,

With love, and sorrow,

How to get gifts on Christmas,

And not return them tomorrow.

 

You silly little adult,

So sure of your ways,

Working through lunch,

And counting your days.

 

Maybe this is pointless,

This piece I am writing,

About adults and teenagers,

And how to stop all our fighting.

 

It really is too bad,

That we don’t see eye to eye,

To grand collaborations,

We’re forced to say goodbye.

 

The honesty of it pains me,

That I’m smarter than you,

But I can’t help but believe,

That sometimes it isn’t true.

Ask me any question

give me any task

I will do it perfectly

In every way you ask

I am right at everything

I swear I’m never wrong

You could even time it if you want

I never take very long

I’ve gotten plusses on every quiz

I’ve aced every test

If you compare me to anyone

I know I am the best

We took a test a week ago

I know I did just fine

I mean, everyone knows that stuff

Like how geese fly in a line

Penguins like the tropics

And flying fish have wings

Monkeys are hairy humans

And a caterpillar sings

I got my test back yesterday

I don’t know what went amiss

It had a red letter F at the top

How could I get everything wrong on this?

The teacher must hate me

It’s the only explanation

I thought I was never wrong ...

Maybe I had a miscalculation?

Prompt: General Writing

Dear Bully,

Do you remember me? It was a long time ago, almost too long to count. I was not your first victim, but not your last either. I was a small kid, with a strong body but a weak mind.

You singled me out on lunch; I was sitting alone as I am now and you proceeded to throw every insult you could think of at me, your stupid friends laughing and cheering as you walked away. I remember them still, like a scar that never fully disappeared. Retard, fag, loser, I remember. I still have the marks on my face from being slammed into my locker by a bunch of your friends.

I still look you up to see what happened after seventh grade when you left. Where you went, who was your next victim. I think I found you living in a small town, captain of the football team.

I still hope you remember me, because out of everything in my life, you changed me the most, whether for better or for worse. You taught me that the world is not all warm and happy and that there is an underside to every stone. So, for better or for worse, I thank you. Life wouldn’t be the same without you.

Millennial Writers on Stage

Presented by YWP and VPR

Send your best poetry or prose for performance at the Burlington Book Festival on Sept. 21. Submit as a blog on your youngwritersproject.org account (If you don’t have one, it’s easy to sign up); click Newspaper Series and the prompt, Millennial. Or email your submission to sreid@youngwritersproject.org.