It’s been a while since I posted a reader-submitted poem, and my apologies for that. Life comes up sometimes, and in my case, it came up big.
At any rate, I’m back to posting regularly, and today’s poem is by Ann Bortner of Windsor Township, who says she’s been writing poetry since tenth grade, and has this to say about her process:
“It is hard to describe what it means to me. It is like a part of my innermost thoughts. Thoughts I’d don’t tell anymore. Thoughts I can’t describe. But, when I see it down on papter … it’s like, yea, that’s it! I can see something, or hear something, and it just takes off from there.”
Standing here in a mile long line,
Waiting to take our seat,
It is graduating time, you see,
Twelve years did we complete.
Looking around at all my friends,
Some are more dear and sweet,
My eyes are drawn to something odd,
A cold, and empty seat.
My mind drifts back, like it was yesterday,
The memories are so unique,
Where is my friend, who should be there,
Familiar tears run down my cheek?
I turn my head to the heaven above,
As my heart skips a beat,
Why did I have to take a look,
At that cold and empty seat?
What dreams he won’t accomplish,
What goals he will never meet,
A young life is totally wasted,
What days he will never greet.
Like being stabbed in the chest,
My heart feels dead and deplete,
I tried to forget, but the evidence is there,
With that cold, and empty seat.
If I could go back a year ago,
A night I’d like to delete,
But the hands of time, you can’t turn back,
I tried, but there’s no technique.
Your life to early for the grave,
Your name forever in concrete,
You should be here, with me tonight,
Instead of this cold, and empty seat.
Often, we write poems to commemorate important life events. I like the rhythm and meter in this poem as a device to kind of control memory, to give it a very definite shape, the way writing a poem about something gives it a very definite meaning. And of course, this poem is also an elegy.
Thanks for sharing, Ann!