Your fingers soared over the keys.
You breathed love into the warm, bell-like tones.
You shook your head if you missed a note,
your eyes danced,
and around your grin
your mouth said
"I still have time,"
"I still have time before the concert."
A family trip, driving home,
back from the dunes of Michigan.
A father, mother, brother, you,
a sister left at home.
You sat in the back.
You were laughing, your family.
It was the last time they've laughed so hard.
A bend in the road,
a turn into town,
A different car, behind you,
did not slow down.
It slammed straight into you.
The metal crunched behind you,
the car spun, and your head bounced.
A helicopter came,
to take you away.
It was too quiet at the hospital.
But you couldn't tell.
You were in a coma.
the doctors said.
"And a broken leg and clavicle."
They didn't mention the broken
They tried to pump life into your chest,
air into your lungs,
much like you
pumped life into the body of your clarinet.
But the machines failed where you did not.
The human in you had gone;
only a body was left.
You're playing for the angels now,
I know you are.
There's a smile on your lips,
in your eyes,
your brown, dancing eyes,
as your fingers effortlessly
fly over the keys,
for the only audience
that could ever
This poem is dedicated to the boy who plays clarinet in the sky. He was in my grade, and over the summer he was in an accident. He was one of the smartest, funniest, kindest, most talented people I have ever met.
This poem is my effort to immortalize him in words, and process the fact that he is gone.