The Girl I Never Knew

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photo: East Anglian Daily Times

 

The Girl I Never Knew

I never knew you,

And now I never will,

Your life ended all too early,

On the road where you were killed

 

You were missed and mourned for,

This fact is clear and plain,

By the memorial those who loved you,

Made as a testament of their pain

 

Though I never met you,

I still know your smile and eyes,

From the happy image of you,

At the place where you did die

 

From your shrine by the roadside,

You greeted me each day,

Till some in power removed it,

Now you’re gone from my way

 

The shrine like you has passed away

Gone as you – in a single night

For the girl I never knew,

This memorial to you, I write

Padre


Several months ago I was late to the college as the main route I travel had been blocked because of a serious accident in the night.   I later learned it was a single vehicle accident where a young woman in her twenties had died.   I do not to this day know the circumstances of the crash nor even her name.  Her friends and family however erected a memorial shrine to her with flowers, and a laminated photograph of her on the signpost she had collided with.

A few months later I was angered by the Highways Agency when they removed the shrine to conduct “essential repairs” to the railings and sign post on which she had died.   I do sincerely feel a sense of loss by the death of this young woman, and by the destruction of her physical memorial.  I hope my words are a fitting tribute, that may last longer to memorialise her.


 

Further to this since first written.  The young woman Lauren Danks, aged 22, was run off the road by a drunk driver traveling at 124 mph.

Also since the writing of the poem, her family has reestablished the memorial to her on the new signpost.   I hope that her loved ones will in time find some measure of peace, though I too have lost a daughter of the same age, and know life is never the same.  Out of respect to the family I delayed posting the poem until it was seen by her parents.  I have had some moving correspondence from her father, and now I share it with you.

Padre

 

20 thoughts on “The Girl I Never Knew

  1. Very powerful. I grew up near the sight of a terrible accident where a teenager was run off a bridge by a drunk driver, and his memorial stayed on the bridge for years. It was important to the family and the community.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I see these shrines all over the place down here in the South where I live – where shootings occur or stabbings or road accidents. Some of them move me but it gets to be a bit much – the deaths of these people. I didn’t know these people or anyone connected to them. At one point, one just has to say enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly, this is becoming too common of an occurrence, that it seems globally. Just five minutes from my apartment building, for more than a year, such a tribute graced a nearby light standard, in honour of a young girl (5 yrs old), who was struck and killed there. At what point, do we realize that having a driver’s licence, doesn’t mean that we can do anything without consequences to others. Too many times, I have been clipped by distracted drives, as I try to cross the road, using traffic lights and crosswalk signals.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You brought poetry to life through your memorial and through your caring. Not only that you helped soothe a grieving parent over the heinous and senseless death of their daughter. When I see how many people who commented said they see them all over — including myself — how desensitized are we becoming to senseless violence…

    Liked by 1 person

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