Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash


Rumors, circulating the school
like electricity,
relayed to me that
my absent friend was
in the hospital.

That’s what I was told,
not by anyone in particular
but by the walls, the lockers
and the wind,
the weighted words pressing down
on my chest like a jaguar
breathing its hot breath
into my face, crushing me
with anxious fright.

Numb, fogged in, isolated,
shaken, afraid.

After school I took to the phone
and, all alone, called the hospital,
needing to know.

“We’re sorry. We can’t answer that.
You’ll have to call the family.”

I dialed, then listened to several rings,
mind racing, the experience harrowing.

What I heard next answered
all the queries of my heart.
I understood fully
while it tore me apart.

I heard the sound of wailing,
a chorus of grief.
And off my soul went sailing,
unconsoled, without relief.

Another attempt to capture in words the first day of my junior year in high school.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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