Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

For information about listening to Vermont Public Radio, please go here.

Young Writers Project: Words in the Wind

Jack writes about this piece: "This piece was written for a friend who died in a drunk driving accident. She would have been in her senior year of high school.”

Words in the Wind
By Jack O'Callaghan
Freshman, St. Michael's College

Spectacular faces trading places the world may never know. For we are one and one alone out of so many you’ll never know. Her infectious smile and sparkling eyes for how so many did they ever grow? Not enough, the places she’ll be and has ever been, the days she’s made and the nights she’s won, not enough will ever touch that smile. Well, none ever did but it touched them, lit up the day and lit up the room, jumped from her face to blow a kiss and a smirk. Waft the sun from the haze and set it down next to the earth, sat back and awed to watch it all revolve around her. Like she was some source of flame brighter and the sun took a back seat role, we fell in orbit and let her gravity roll- us around, and around, how fast we’d go, until we were back to her, where we’d always know- we’d be. Like it’d been too long, the nights too cold, we’d miss the hearth of her smile and the extent of her heart, the rage of her laugh and her not funny jokes.

How can you not know?

You mean you don’t see her face at the sound of her name-Jane- like that one syllable word doesn’t creep down your neck and across your back in pain? You don’t remember seeing her that night or the stories she told, her arm around your neck and words you still hold? Like red hot coals- in your burning hands but you won’t let go, if you do -no one else will ever know. Remember when you said goodbye that night- the widest smile across her face- she fell into you and trusted her weight to you to hold? And then when you couldn’t and you fell back into the grass, laid her head on your chest, laughed at the stars and didn’t share a word? Of what you were thinking, why would you not, didn’t anyone ever tell you live each second like it’s your last, or your last with her?

I can’t grasp how you don’t remember, how you didn't see, how you can’t share this with me! Everyone did, but this world is too big, three states away and its words in the wind. How did you not feel it? The warmth from her chest the steady beat of her breath and when it stopped?

Did it get colder? Did the sun fall back to its natural position and watch every sadder person get bolder? Did you feel it? Or have you before? Have you ever felt the rain like it did that day or the day after yours? Have your streets ever soaked so wet, the window of your vision so blurred? Can you relate to me yet, the pain of that one word? What's still glued to the tip of Your tongue, that they never once heard?

Latest Stories