When I was young

death was a snake

who lived in the loose gravel

on the shoulder

across the white line.

Striking from the dark

through the headlights

of an oncoming car.

Fast and certain

with no warning

in a no passing zone.

Two girls in short skirts

crying in class.

A smiling photo

on a closed coffin

Young men in bad fitting suits

riding in the second limo.

Staring at their hands

knowing they will never

ride in the first limo.

I see their faces

They ask me why

They ask me what

I have no answer

What would I tell them

What could I tell them

I would tell Matt

Slow down

I would tell Jesse

Don't touch that wire

I would tell Mike

Back down and leave

I would tell Kyle

take the medicine

I would tell Danny

She's not worth this pain.