"Please God, I’m Only 17"

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The day I died was an ordinary school day.

How I wish I had taken the bus. But I was too cool for the bus. I remember how I wheedled the car out of Mom. "Special favor," I pleaded. "All the kids drive." When the 2:50 bell rang, I threw all my books in the locker. I was free until 8:40 tomorrow morning! I ran to the parking lot, excited at the thought of driving a car and being my own boss. Free!

It doesn’t matter how the accident happened. I was goofing off going too fast. Taking crazy chances. But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun. The last thing I remember, I was passing an old lady who seemed to be going awfully slowly. I heard the deafening crash and felt a terrible jolt. Glass and steel flew everywhere. My whole body seemed to be turning inside out. I heard myself scream.

Suddenly it was quiet. A police officer was standing over me. There was a doctor, and my body was mangled. I was saturated with blood. Pieces of jagged glass were sticking out all over. Strange that I couldn’t feel anything.

Hey, don’t pull that sheet over my head! I can’t be dead. I’m only 17. I’ve got a date tonight. I’m supposed to grow up and have a wonderful life. I haven’t even lived yet, I can’t be dead.

Later I was placed in a drawer. My folks had to identify me. Why did they have to see me like this? Why did my mother have to face the most terrible ordeal of her life? Why did Dad suddenly look like an old man? He told the man in charge, "Yes, that is my child."

The funeral was a weird experience. All my relatives and friends walked toward the casket. They passed by, one by one, and looked at me with the saddest eyes. Some of the boys were crying. A few of the girls touched my hand and sobbed as they walked away.

I wish someone could wake me up and get me out of this casket! My mom and dad are so broken up. My grandparents are so racked with grief that they can barely walk. My brothers and sisters stare ahead like zombies, and move like robots. No one can believe that this happened to me.

Please don’t bury me! I have lots of living to do! I want to run and jump again. I want to laugh and sing. Please don’t put me in the ground. I promise if you give me one more chance, I’ll be the most careful driver in the whole world!

Please, God, I’m only 17!

Credit to Mr. Poling is long over due. Please don't take without permission of:

Author: Dr. Michael Lee Poling

In Memory of Jimmy Rowe

The original title was "God I am only 16"...and I had written it about my
best friend Jimmy Rowe  He was killed in a car accident at the age of 16
he was a great friend and I had written it for him, and I have seen it in the
newspaper a lot of times under Unknown Author and that is ok, because what
I had written was from the heart.. and I did not care whether I got credit
for it or not..

You got me to thinking about this and I found the original copy.  It is has
the old misspelled words and white out on it where I had made mistakes and
in the 40 some years the words has not change at all..

I was only 13 at the time I wrote this, and I was traveling all over the
Hills of West Virginia, KY, and Indiana



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