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lauryn is the best example of the reason
i like writing about people.
because i have waited too long
and now i have forgotten—
because now i do not even remember
if i spelled her name right.

lauren? laurin? lauryn?

here's the three things i remember
about the girl in the back of my spanish class
who showed up late for video rehearsals,
but pronounced español like she'd been speaking it all her life

lauryn is the only person i can
remember asking me to write a poem for her.
the rest of them just sat back and thought
that eventually i would write a poem about them
that they could steal and read.
she is the only one who has ever
wondered if i had better things to write about than her.

her sleeping bag during one of the school bonding trips
was bright yellow with a spongebob face on it.
i would know, i shared a tent with her—she woke me
up in the middle of the night because she thought
she heard something out in the woods,
and "please grace, won't you go with me?"

she carried two flashlights with her—one to light up
the monsters that hid in the dark
and the other to hit those monsters on the head.

i don't know why she wanted me there too, because
lauryn is brave without anyone
telling her she needs to be.

the spring of last year was full of grueling
track practice where the only person i knew on the team
made of sixth graders was lauryn.
we both ended up getting put in discus.
me, because i was not good at anything else,
and her because she knew i'd feel alone without anyone to talk to.

on graduation day, she threw me a smile
and i threw her a half-assed poem, and
i haven't seen her since.

dear lauryn, here's your poem, 221 days late.

the last one was awful, all about a girl
who was afraid to be amazing.
i know now that you will never have this problem.

so here's a better poem.
this one's about a girl i used to know,
who was funny and amazing and adjective-defying,
who never had to be afraid of being amazing
because she already was.
People on Paper 21

if these people on paper poems were an actual person, he or she would be old enough to drink in the united states now.

it's the small things, guys....

no, but seriously, i don't remember much about lauryn. i guess it's because i never really knew her well in the first place. a lot of the people in my grade have gone to school with me since kindergarten, but she only came in sixth grade, so i never got to know her well enough before she left.

our track coach would always say, "NBATBA." or, "Never Be Afraid To Be Amazing", so when she asked for a poem from me that she could hang up on her wall when i became a famous write (oh puhlease), i wrote her a poem about that--or close to that. i don't really remember. i just know that i regretted it the moment i gave it to her.

so here's take two.
Add a Comment:
themeridian Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I hope that she reads this someday!
Your writing is so descriptive that I can actually see you and Lauryn creeping out into the forest in my head,
jplgaara Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. Haha.. It's kind of incredible. Dedicating a poem like this. :)
Lacewinged-Beauty Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012   Writer

This is very lovely.
tiajones Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
"i don't know why she wanted me there too, because
lauryn is brave without anyone
telling her she needs to be."

i'm sure she would love this. (:
i know i would if it were about me.
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Submitted on
December 30, 2012
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