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Birthdays This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I met you at Jessica’s fourteenth birthday party,
where we stayed up all night on the couch.
I don’t remember a word of what we talked about
but I can still see you there, with the blanket on your lap,
and you were laughing. Always laughing.
I’m glad we became best friends.

I was there for your fifteenth birthday –
we watched “Flushed Away” at the Grand.
We laughed about it as we ate cake
in the glass party room where everyone could see us.
I’m sure that if they noticed you, what they saw was that
you were so alive.

You were there when I turned fifteen, and we ate at Friday’s.
I took a picture of you there.
Your dad has it now, he keeps it with him.
And I haven’t eaten there since.

Jessica didn’t celebrate her fifteenth birthday the same –
by then, you were gone.

For your sixteenth birthday, all your friends gathered
at your grave, and we wrote you notes.
We rolled them up tight and put them in balloons.
We sent the balloons away and pretended
you would get them.

I turned sixteen.
I lit a candle; I wished you were there.

Saturday is your seventeenth birthday.
And it’s hard to believe.
This year, I think we will try to forget.
But your impact, it’s still here.
It’s like tiny craters in my skin.
And I will always remember you,
through all the years.
Through all the
birthdays.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 98 comments. Post your own!

Aderes18 said...
Mar. 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm:

So Sad! :( 

And my birthday's coming up too!!!

 
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taracottle4 said...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 11:28 pm:
this is beautiful. i can't imagine what you are going through. losing a best friend would be the hardest thing. you are so strong. i don't think i would be able to publish this. thank you so much!
 
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ferosa45 said...
Feb. 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm:
hmmmm. the pathos is undeniably gripping alond with academic genius. the continuance of a life that is gone...gone with the wind, but the fragrance lingers on.
 
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iamAbel said...
Feb. 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm:
This was absolutely beautiful. One of my best friend died this past September and it was so so sad. Thank you so much for sharing this. 
 
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DakotaShadow said...
Jan. 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm:
My little brother died. On his birthday, we went to the beach, wrote messages on a balloon, and pretend he gets them. i still pretend he got them.
 
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Jessie-Mo said...
Jan. 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm:
This poem brought out such raw emotion that my eyes started to water. It is amazing how this poem has such an influence on mere strangers. You have a great talent and should continue writing. This was an excellent poem.
 
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JatiaE. said...
Dec. 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm:
I almost felt like crying, but this poem was so real and raw and beautiful (:
 
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bluegirl440 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 9:22 am:
This is such a beautiful poem and it almost made me cry....
 
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christin.bass said...
Aug. 1, 2010 at 11:29 pm:
Gosh this was beautiful. I agree this has sucha maturity about it. You are sucha strong person and it is easily picked up through your writing. AMAZING JOB!
 
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choirchic101 said...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm:
This poem is a tearjerker. I was soooooo touched. It doesn't seem like a teenager wrote this. I wonder if this really happened to you because it seems so true and real. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Smileyky108 said...
Jul. 10, 2010 at 9:19 am:
Beautiful. I love it, it's so touching. Great job!
 
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blacksheep said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 12:26 pm:
I love this poem. It is very touching and reminds you that you should not take simple things like friends for granted because once they are gone they are gone forever. 
 
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Jordyn said...
Jun. 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm:

reading this made me tingle. it was spectacular. i felt every single emotion. i loved it.  

LOVED IT!!!!!! amazing

 
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Jilybeanrb This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 31, 2010 at 7:59 pm:
I apologize hon. I realize that I overacted. That was not nice of me, I took it so far out of context. It wasn't the criticism at all though, I know you meant well by that. It was just the "concept" thing that upset  me :( I'm sorry.
 
Jilybeanrb This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 31, 2010 at 8:00 pm :
Goodness I fail so much at clicking the right button. I wish I could delete posts ha, once again ignore this, it's supposed to be a reply.
 
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mpacheco15 said...
May 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm:
I think it's okay without it. It's just like saying: She didn't celebrate her birthday that same way as whoever/ whenever. She had left a.k.a. died.
 
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demetria said...
May 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm:
i liked the concept. at first i was a little confused with who died..Jessica or someone else. i now understand what's going on. try revising the line that says "Jessica didn't celebrate her 15th birthday the same- by then, you were gone." this line was what confused me. if you add a because after same, then it would probably make more sense.
 
Jilybeanrb This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm :
I apologize if I overreacted. It's just that I personally would not write a poem about someone dying if I did not know what it was like. I didn't sit around and come up with this story-- these are my memories and they are close to me.
 
demetria replied...
May 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm :
i really am sorry but i just didn't really get it! i mean please don't be mad but i just read it and it confused me a little. i guess if i took my time it would have made more sense but i don't know what to say. believe me i understood what was going on but some of the words didn't go through my mind correctly.
 
Jilybeanrb This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 31, 2010 at 8:00 pm :
I apologize hon. I realize that I overacted. That was not nice of me, I took it so far out of context. It wasn't the criticism at all though, I know you meant well by that. It was just the "concept" thing that upset  me :( I'm sorry.
 
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