One Thing


Remember that boy

In second grade

Who drew all over his papers

And hid a sketchbook in his desk?

He could have been in museums

But now he works 9-5

At the gas station on the corner

To help his kids go to college


Remember that girl

Who sat next to the only Italian restaurant in town

And strummed her guitar

And crooned about lost love?

She had a voice like silk

She could have had a record label.

Now she is still at the Italian restaurant

Every night

Smiling at customers

As she collects tips

To pay for her mother’s hospital bills


Remember that friend

You had in middle school

Who always got straight A’s?

You could have sworn they would get a full ride

To wherever they could choose

They had more promise

Then anyone you knew

You still see them sometimes

When you get on the subway

To commute to work

And you always put a dollar in the cup

They hold out

Begging for something to help pay

For another dose

Of the drugs that help them cope.


If I could change anything

It would be this

There would be no more dreams

Lost to reality

There would be no more

Boxes in attics

Full of worn drawings

And unsung sheet music

There would be no more people

Who lost their chance

To be great


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