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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2240541-Peer-Pressure
Rated: E · Poetry · Tragedy · #2240541
Describes the night my friend & I stole a car, crashed & he was killed.
My vision was blurred and my gate clumsy
Those beers sure did a job on me
Jim said “Let's go”, and opportunity knocked
If only I had known what was to be

“The keys are in it, Jim... let's go for a ride”
But his face said what I should have known
“No.” But I was having none of it
Time for some peer pressure to be shown

“What a pussy you are, Jim”
And a look came to his eye
My challenge had been to his honour
“Ok,” he said...I didn't know the tears I would cry

My smile was intense, but his silence said it all
An unwilling passenger, along for the ride
With no idea where to go, I just followed the path
Laid out by fate...like being carried by the tide

He did one last thing before he lost his life
Perhaps he thought I was driving too fast
I still remember it like it was yesterday
Although forty years have now passed

As we drove along that cold dark road
Jim leaned over and across my chest
My seat belt was then snapped into place
Why not for himself, is anyone's guess

In the distance, our destiny approached
A broken-down car in the emergency lane
Time and motion slowed, as we slid across that road
Hitting an embankment, rolling over again and again

I was hanging by the seat belt Jim had secured
Jammed...along with hissing and the smell of fuel
I looked for him but he was gone
Who lives, who dies and who makes the rules?

The enormity of it all I could not bear
Overwhelmed by grief and the reality he had died
I prayed to God every night, “God please, take me instead”
Wishing it was a bad dream and we could again be side by side

But prayers are only answered for the deserving
So, I decided to join him...but the attempt failed
Forty years ago, yet I still feel the pain
Still wondering about his act and what it entailed

Was it me, or was it fate who took him that night?
Crying tears of sadness, regret and shame
If I hadn't said to him, what I said that night
Was it peer pressure to blame?

I still ask myself why he did what he did
Saving my life, but not his own
A question which was never to be answered
Until years later, two babies were born

Twin girls so small they looked like dolls
And when I held them, my mind was blown
It dawned on me why Jim had saved my life
And why he had sacrificed his own

Because any change to our past
And our present wouldn't exist at all
I would never have held those girls
Or watched them grow so tall

When they had grown, I told them about Jim
About his sacrifice...so they might live
Our respect for him is immeasurable
Along with all the love in our hearts we can give




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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2240541-Peer-Pressure