How to Save a Life

March 28, 2008
By Savannah Summerhill, Brandon, MS

Dear Sister, soon it will be your birthday,
Your first birthday sober in many a year,
Since you went to rehab,
Since you went to prison,
Since you acquiesced into drug abuse
So many years ago.

Sister, soon I hope to see you,
I miss you quite a lot!
So many hours away you are,
But I can get there,
It's not too far,
But not as near as the painful memories
Of what happened to us.

Sister, perhaps you never saw
The images that I see, flashing,
Images of that terrifying day, as I watched you
In a police car you drove far away,
Away to the prison,
Away to my depression,
Away to our forgiveness and pessimistic views
Of your future.

But I forgive you, Sister,
For stealing all my things,
For pawning them away to get one more hit
Of heroine in your veins
To ruin your sister's faith
But to teach her a strong lesson,
A lesson of how not to give into peer pressure,
How to save a life.

At first, my Sister, I was angry;
I could not let it go.
I hated you, Sister, but not now that I understand
Why you lied to me
Why you pretended
To be my best friend, instead you stole from me
And hurt my ego.

I had no one to talk to,
Not at home
Where I was seemingly alone.
So I wrote you letters,
So I told you everything,
In the end I got better at forgiving, but I am so sorry
For worrying you.

You taught me so much
While you were away
In that frigid prison where you didn't belong.
How to love,
How to forgive,
How to remind myself that I can be strong, that I
Can save myself.

Now when I call you
My best friend
I can say it without cringing from false accusations.
This time it is true,
This time I mean it,
And this time it is special because I know you mean it too.
My sister, my best friend, you know that I love you.

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