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For a Senior Killed on Prom Night


It's useless to pretend you would have been

a genius. I taught you and I know.

You made the team, but others made it win.

A ready smile made up for being slow.


You'd have been ordinary in the end:

the hardest worker someone ever had,

one woman's husband and one man's best friend,

recipient of cards for "world's best dad."


So why, where you'd have been, is there a blank

so huge, a hole where all thoughts go to die?

The world has only lost one of its rank

and file. You didn't even make me cry.


Why do I go outside at one a.m.

and search the stars as though I'd numbered them?


Gail White



2005; originally printed in The Formalist.  Reprinted
by permission of the author.

by Grapholina

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