An Almost Friendship

I wrote a poem for class about a death that has made a major impact on my life. I’m not a great poem writer, but I liked this one and thought I would share it.

An Almost Friendship
Your death was unwarranted like many deaths are.
Our freshman year, you were hit by a semi.
Unscathed, you came out invincible.
Or at least you were supposed to be.

You had comedy constantly running through your bones.
As a shy person, I always admired your funny impulses.
Never malicious,
you strived to make everyone laugh.
You were always a success.

Never phased by a challenge,
you became a classroom legend.
Equipped with a mason jar filled with blazing buffalo sauce,
you chugged it all within minutes.
Instantly you became a human mood ring.
Excusing yourself, you rose from your seat
and casually got something to drink.

Even though we went to school together for two years,
we formally met in a limousine at a mutual friend’s sweet 16.
There were six people in total.
Two sets of couples,
then you and me.

The limousine instantly filled with hormones and teenage passion.
The situation would have been unnerving with anyone else.
We sat in the corner, near a fuzzy analog tv.
On mute, Clifford the Big Red Dog kept us company.

I was plagued with social anxiety.
You knew that, and started to talk to me.
Small talk wasn’t so painful that evening.

The limousine arrived at the two dollar theater.
The couples unaware,
you began to shake the limo.
Imitating them,
you made the sounds of the wild.

As the night came to an end,
we said our goodbyes.
I was excited I made a new friend.
The last thing you said,
“See you on Monday.”

When Monday came, I looked for you.
I didn’t even realize the atmosphere change.
I opened my locker, when my friend came.
I was told you were “no longer with us”.
It was at sunset when your friend hydroplaned.
Three lives were taken that unfaithful Saturday.

I was in denial that Monday.
After all, you told me you would see me that day.
Now, seven years have passed.

During my daily commute down the expressway,
I see a sizable orange cross.
Written are three names.
Jon, Billy, and Ryan.

As I pass, I’m reminded not of your death.
Instead Jon,
I’m reminded of our almost friendship.


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