You were a star
an honor student
would should have gone far
until the night you killed
in that drunk driving car.
You were friendly to all
popular to many
now you are outcast
your identity is off the wall
struck from so many lips
a name they will no longer call.
While many now deny you
there is still a place
in a special heart
that despite what you have been through
will always hold you dear
no matter how bad things ever get to.
Reaching out has been tried
but no one ever seems to know
where you can be found
your parents seemed as though you had died
but to me you are still alive
to me you still have good inside.
For what has happened you must pay
but you told the court
that you were sorry
so I am hoping that when you are released some day
your sentence to speak to high school students
will affect their lives in a more positive way.
This was about a former student of mine. She was bright, smart, talented, and beautiful. I had taught her as a Middle School student. 4 years later, when she reached her Senior year of high school, she was selected to “Who’s Who Among American High School Seniors”. When a person reaches that honor, they can choose a teacher who meant a lot to them, to be placed in “Who’s Who Among American Teachers”. She chose me. Unfortunately through college, her life changed. The college she attended did not, in my book, did not give her enough to engage her mind, and for that matter, keep her busy/studying. She had been in honors classes in HS and was taking 101 level courses. I could tell from a few emails I got that she was bored out of her tree. Partying became her norm. Meanwhile, my family and I had moved. A few years later, when she was back home (I never really knew if she graduated or just dropped out) she killed 2 people and injured others, while DWI, by crashing into the patio, of a nightclub. I tried many times to inquire about her whereabouts through old friends and family and came up empty. The online news coverage of the situation was much less than I thought it would be. The one thing that struck me is her statement of remorse in court. I have never stopped keeping her in my prayers, as well as those that were harmed. I am hoping that when she is released, that she will better her life and make better the futures of others through what her sentence includes (speaking to High School students about making dangerous choices). I am not happy at all over what happened, and it doesn’t excuse the deadly accident. But while so many have crossed her off their lists, the only way she will make better is with encouragement behind her. I, for one, add my name to that list as well, even if nobody else ever does. I wrote this poem 3 days ago. Just 2 days ago, I tried more online research, and I did find her, and how to contact her. I am going to do so.