Hi everyone. Thank you for taking the time to read this. The reason I'm posting this is because today (March 10, 2007) would have been the day a friend of mine from elementary school would have turned 17 years old. But very sadly, he's no longer alive, so I'm writing this poem as a way to remember him on his birthday. (And due to obvious reasons, I'm keeping the name a secret) Sorry if the poem isn't so good. I don't really write a lot of poems.

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I remember the day I heard that you died.
It was a quite incredible tale.
I'll write this poem in memory of you,
And I'll try not to miss a lot of detail.

I remember when we first met in Kindergarten
And were with each other for first and second grade, too.
You pointed out we were with each other three straight years,
And that you could be a friend to me, and I to you.

We were only at another's birthday party once
And you only came over my house one night.
If you didn't get transferred after second grade,
Our friendship could have grown very tight.

We stumbled across each other a few years later
But I do not remember exactly when.
Months later we met at a grocery store checkout line,
And I asked myself, "When are we going to meet again?"

But I learned, on earth, that that would never happen
And it pained me to know
When I learned many years later
Of the horrible way you had to go.

I was fifteen years old when I heard the news.
I was too stunned to pout.
That afternoon I learned the details
And was shocked by how much I had yet to find out.

Towards the end of 2005, a kid at my school drowned.
He was a seventeen year old young man.
Months later everyone at school was still talking of it,
And that is when it all began.

The death was a topic in my Latin class months later
And everyone said all of the same.
Then a kid in my class said he also had a friend who died.
Imagine my surprise when he was asked who it was and he said your name!

"How old was he?! Where did he go to school?"
Those were some things I began to inquire.
To know exactly what happened
Soon became, for me, a heated desire.

I thought about it more and more
Until there remained no doubt.
You were the one-you were the friend-
Who my classmate was talking about.

That afternoon I told my mom about your death
On the way home after my newspaper club met.
I thought about it while I relaxed and watched TV
While my mom did some searching on the internet.

She came across a website your mom made,
And it was devoted entirely to you.
I became more and more surprised as I read the site
And found out you died from something you tried to do.

As I read, I couldn't blink. I couldn't breathe.
I couldn't moan. I couldn't sigh.
How could you have done that to yourself?
Why'd you have to try to get high?!

Trying to get high was a bad idea-
Surely you've heard that stated.
And yet you tried it anyway.
As a result, you suffocated.

I remember reading the site your mom wrote,
Practically ready to scream "What the heck?!"
You learned a new way to get high,
And it involved tying a belt around your neck?!

Why did you do that? Answer me, why?
You must've known it wasn't smart.
Not only should that convince some to stop,
It will encourage me not to start.

It may have been an uncool thing you did,
Not to mention it didn't seem very wise.
But I'll stop the bashing here. After all,
I'm not writing this to criticize.

I looked at several pages on the website,
Including ones with many pictures arranged.
I was increasingly stunned when looking at those pictures
And seeing how much you physically changed.

But I guess such a thing is to be expected
When you don't see a young child for almost a decade.
After looking through it for a long while,
I logged out of the website that your mom had made.

I'm sure if we went to the same school together
You would have soon become a great friend.
But I only saw you twice after second grade
Before I learned about your untimely end.

I didn't know you so well, but you were a friend when I was six
And I still hold all those memories in my heart.
We only knew each other through second grade, but still,
They're my memories of you, and from me they'll never part.

We may not meet again on earth, and we may
Have only met twice since we were seven.
But we will meet again some day. But next time,
We'll be seeing each other again in heaven.

This is my birthday present to you,
It's one I don't need the mail in order to send.
Happy what-would-have-been-your seventeenth birthday,
My old buddy. My old pal. My old friend.

March 10, 1990 – November 7, 2004