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Tonight is prom night for some of our local schools and, while I wrote this poem about a birthday, it holds even more truth for prom night.  Be safe out there and don’t drink and drive.  No mother ever wants to get that call from the police.

 

     WHY ME, MOM

 

It was his birthday party.

They were first to arrive.

He told his girl he’d promised Mom

He would not drink and drive.

 

So soda was their drink of choice

Just that, and nothing more

And when the party ended

They headed for the door.

 

They climbed into his old blue car

And watched his friends depart.

He noticed some were staggering,

Bringing fear to his sad heart.

 

“I’m glad I listened to you, Mom.”

He whispered ‘neath his breath,

Because my friends are drunk tonight,

And could be facing death.”

 

“I kept my promise to you, Mom.”

He spoke aloud with pride.

Then drove away to meet his fate,

His girlfriend at his side.

 

Then sometime later, on a curve,

He saw a drunken friend.

They met head-on in violence,

Just slightly ‘round the bend.

 

Near the crash, upon the ground,

The injured totaled five.

Someone heard him whisper, “Mom,

I did not drink and drive.”

 

His blood now stains the highway red,

And in his labored breath,

The lad called to his Mother,

That ‘twas HE who now faced death.

 

“Oh, Mom, why am I lying here

In such horrendous pain,

As blood flows freely from my wounds

And mixes with the rain?”

 

“My drunken friend is walking ‘round.

I can’t help wonder why?

And now he’s looking down at me,

Too drunk to even cry.”

  

“Oh no, dear God, it cannot be!

I just heard someone say,

‘This boy is hurt so badly,

He won’t see light of day’!”

 

“Why is it me that dies, Mom?

I’m not the one to blame.

I was not drunken at the wheel,

A good friend wears that shame.”

 

“Come quickly, Mom, I need you,

To kiss before I die.

I kept my promise to you, Mom.

Yet this is my goodbye.”

 

“Write on my stone, Here Lies a boy

Taken in his prime,

By the thoughtless act of a good friend,

Drunk driving just one time.

 

2/27/97       Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

 

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