Grim Reality

January 7, 2008
By Maggie Glimp, Barrington, IL


I close my eyes, open them again

& reread the text message,

“dead”… there it is.

My mouth drops and my jaw quivers.

I am shocked, as if I were just dropped into the Arctic Ocean.

After a few minutes I erase the text in disbelief.

I am short of breath.

My nose begins to run.

I lay back on my bed.


My face is warm with rage.

I clench my teeth & think to myself.

How can he be gone?

Why was he taken?

Shaking in pain my heart feels like it’s being stabbed.

I clench my fists closed.

I am bitter.


Driving by the tracks where he was hit.

I see mounds of flowers.

I raise my hands & draw them across my shrinking view.

Hunched over I shake my head & turn away.

Why him? He was so young.


I catch myself looking for him
in the hallways where we used to pass each other.
I can’t walk by the park without thinking

about that sticky, summer day

when all of us climbed up into that small creaky tree house.

We sat up there until sundown, laughing & talking.

Most of the laughter was product of his clever personality.

There isn’t anything anyone can do to bring him back.

However, we can remember what made him so special

& try our best to keep that alive.

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