I remember you fading in a playground frenzy,
Like the love and hate
Scribbled in the washroom stalls.
You wore a purple velvet hat
In September's warm glow,
And the same jacket as me;
Black with coloured flowers,
A zipper that always seemed to stick.
Young eyes squinting in the orange light of the sun;
You became one with the fresh air
While we only breathed it.
Your smile was wise and knowing.
You began to dance with one foot in heaven.
I remember a train of us running,
Our wild laughter the whistle.
I reached for your doll-like hand,
But this world had tired you too much to keep up.
Your mother's door remained boarded up
The day you were gone.
In my innocence I could not fathom
The empty running shoes in the hall,
The scent of the crayons
Once warmed by your hands.
But the longer I've roamed this place of uncertainty,
The better the pieces fit.
You may have been the catalyst
For my fear of death,
But you may too be
A disarming sting
In my empathetic heart.