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
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.