Your Read Receipt
I held your little sister’s hand today, And she wouldn’t let go, she ran fast with velcro light up shoes, but her fragile fingers grasped tightly around mine. I think that when she closed her blue eyes for a second, she could pretend it was you Your funeral was ten days ago and the guilt still rips my insides raw I wonder if you blame me, I do. I was texting you about a party that night But you never made it and neither did I I received a read receipt from you at 10:17 But police found you at 10:21 I got to the hospital at 10:37 But I was 20 minutes too late. They said it was quick, they said it was painless But somehow my heart is not healing quickly and my mind seems to shatter from the pain Your white Honda with the YOLO sticker on the back was not totaled But you were I think my grief has been buried by anger I do not understand why you grabbed your phone when you heard that ding I do not understand why I probably would have done the same thing I do not understand how you failed to see the reflecting cherry-red stop sign I do not understand that you are gone. I put my phone in the trunk of my car when I drive now It’s far enough away that the Bluetooth will not connect And I drive listening to my silent shame I don’t dare to change the navigation screen, I haven’t checked the mirror to see if my mascara is smudged, Sometimes I think I see you driving up ahead and my heart catches on a plank of hope, But I remember that you’ll be forever in the green grass Safe within the white fence and gently placed beneath a freshly engraved headstone. So as I hold your little sister’s hand I tell her that the world is more important than responding to those three blinking dots She does not fully understand but turns her round face towards the weak winter light filtering through the barren trees And asks me “Why did the car crash my sister” I wish I had the heart to tell her the truth That is was just the wrong choice
This is a fiction poem. However, it was inspired by the loss I have seen in my high school from distracted driving. Though it has never been one of my personal close friends, the effects have reached far and wide.