When I was in high school, I loved poetry.

I loved reading it. I loved writing it.

The words seemed to flow from my pen every time I put the tip to paper. The world inspired me in ways I couldn't explain.

By the end of the day, my notebooks would be filled with scribbled down thoughts that eventually became a collection of poems.

Over the last few days, I started thinking about the poems I forgot about for over a decade. My cousin, whose mother was killed in a car accident earlier this year, began to use poetry as his way of dealing with the pain he felt for losing his mother.

So today, I'm going to dust off my notebook and share a few of my poems, because my cousin made me realize that the words you write shouldn't be hidden in a notebook.

Fireflies

There are fireflies dancing late at night,

They watch over you and tell me that you are alright.

I see them fly throughout the land,

But yet I see none o'er the sand.

I follow their glow and hope you are near,

And then I realize you are not here.

You're dancing in the world above,

Being with the one you love.

I wish I could see you but know I cannot,

The only way is in my thought.

You are standing here watching over the land,

And then you take me by the hand.

I hear your voice; I feel your touch,

I know now that you mean so much.

I see you in your radiant light,

Finally, I know that you are alright.

You gently unclasp my hand,

A lone tear falls to the sand.

There are fireflies dancing late at night,

They watch and guide me to your light.

(Fireflies was written in 2000, after friends from Montana visited Pennsylvania. They were amazed by the fireflies. The inspiration for this poem was a mix of that experience and missing my Pop Pop, who passed away in 1993, when I was 9.)

The Rose

A red rose tightly woven

Apart from all the rest,

Standing, staring up at heaven

For it fears it's not the best.

The sun then beats upon it,

And lets the process begin,

And then the petals open,

A baby wrapped within.

The petals now turn into a face

The stem to slender legs and feet

The leaves now turn into two arms,

Wrapped in red and lace,

That the baby will now meet.

A figure of a woman is now shining through

A baby embraced within her arms,

Now not one but two.

The Blessed Virgin Mary

Now standing there with her son

Standing, staring up at heavens

Asking now what shall be done?

(The Rose was inspired by my Nana, who always sang the song "Lovely Lady Dressed In Blue." I wrote this in the early 2000s and read it at my Nana's funeral in 2007 as a way to find closure.)

Jes

The Sun, rising in the east

Touches all it sees.

The heart of it pure and gold

For she knows how to love.

She is different from anything I have ever witnessed,

Unique in every way.

She sees things so clearly

And knows how to express herself.

She does not fear others criticism,

Nor gives any of her own.

Friendly to all

And shining from within for all to see.

She helps others live their lives,

Grow in every way,

See all the possibilities

And helps further their grasp onto life.

The Sun, setting in the west

Feels she has improved living,

Helping things grow in every way, shape, and form

And ready to start it all over again tomorrow.

(Jes was written around 2004 as an assignment for a literature class. The inspiration came from my friend Jes, who was always someone I looked up to.)