Tribute to a Friend who Died much too Young
J. Scott, your dreams are over,
Snared in your youth by the Big M—
Your gentle tortured soul now free
Your words live on in our troubled world.
The genius of your soul—
Kneeling in awe of the literary greats
F. Scott (you know) Fitzgerald
Spouting quotes from the pens of the masters
You read long before.
The journeys you drew me into
We are all part of
The human one.
You took me places I’d never dreamed.
Courtroom witness stand
Visitation at a Maximum security
Pre-dawn in the empty parking lot
Of the Johnson County Jail
911 emergency call for an
Visits to a residential rehabilitation home
Through it all you shared your dreams
Your open, gentle spirit showed great devotion
To young Kassidy, a child sister ripped by cancer
From this heartless life.
“I love God,” she taught from her heart.
“And God loves me. That’s all there is
In your world religion rejected and
For your deviations from the norm.
Kassidy showed you—God Is Love.
But not even she could stop Big M.
You searched for your place,
On the journey, you befriended
Fought for those
In the margins.
You took up causes of those
With little voice.
And you wrote for them.
Because you were one of them
And they needed you.
The Pen is Greater Than the Sword, Scott. Or the Needle.
And your words live.
Even if you don’t.
Big M stole you from those who care.
In this age of rigid conservatism
And legal discrimination,
The civic powers criminalized
Your disability. Your addiction.
When you needed help,
They served you blame.
They pulled the rug of security
From under your feet.
And you fell.
In your words, “Life is suffering. . .
But God is Love.”
As your spirit takes its first
Hesitant flight in freedom,
May you find the Winds of that Love,
And may they bear you
The wind is blowing.
Rise up with it and ride.