Late night text message
From a classmate of yours.
“Hey prof. Did ya hear what happened today?”
Doesn’t give me a moment to reply
“_______ died today in a car crash.”
What can I say to that?
How do I explain
A young life gone
Before it got going?
Are there words to capture the tragedy,
And futile sense of injustice
That an adolescent’s death brings?
I cannot teach your classmate how to grieve,
For I do not know how to myself.
You were smart, industrious, and kind.
Is “That is terrible,” really to be my sole and lasting response
To your mangled body
Crushed beneath an oncoming semi?
I taught you to question everything.
Now I must do the same.