Best Friend


You asked me
“Where are you?” and
“Where do you live at?”
I don’t like to lie,
So of course,
I went around the question.
“I live over the mountains,
By the ocean, 14 hours away.”
“Do you live in a lighthouse?”
“You can say that, there’s
A bright light and a tower.”

All of your questions are valid
And I will always listen.
You’re my nephew and now,
My best friend.

I see my younger self
In your questions
I would ask your grandma
“Where’s my dad?”
“He’s in the sky.”
“Does he fly airplanes?”
“No son, he’s with God,
he’s watching over you.”

Death and prison,
Two things children can’t comprehend
Like teaching them calculus.
The only thing they understand
Is presence, or lack thereof.

The temptation is
To make me your hero
But time will only bring
Like no one showing up to your game.
The grand image,
Evolves into something realistic.
My “lighthouse,” a prison,
My lessons, examples I never followed
The cape becomes
State blues,
The mask falls and
I’m just a criminal.

But for now,
I’m your best friend,
Your sounding board,
Your cheerleader,
Someone to trust
Someone you talk to
About building things and
Your joy in running,
And whatever else.

“Sy”, if you’re going to build,
Become a master of foundations,
So that you’ll build
As high as you wish
Continue training for stamina
So that life’s race
Will never wear you down.
And know, your best friend
Is here always.


  1. Mayi on May 26, 2022 at 12:55 PM

    Hi MV,

    That was such a beautiful poem. Even through just your choice of wording and how you did so, I could tell the strong bond that you are describing. You described the need to protect and maintain childhood innocence very well, and it is hard when we have to grow up and explain to them these harder concepts and the realities of life. Well done, a very touching poem you have written.

  2. Kora on May 28, 2022 at 1:35 PM

    MV, Best Friend is such a great poem that truly exhibits your vulnerability and own insecurities in your relationship with your nephew. It is beautiful and raw. Know you are more than “just a criminal.” You are a writer, poet, mentor, uncle, brother, son, intellect, and so much more. My favorite stanza is, “Death and prison, two things children can’t comprehend like teaching them calculus. The only thing they understand is presence, or lack thereof.” I had never thought of how children perceive this ideal and I appreciate your bringing my awareness to it. Your comparison between prison and death is also interesting because just like with death, prison seems to bring your life to an end. Know it is not over. I encourage you to keep writing, and more importantly, keep writing your nephew. I wish you all the best, MV. Your writing is wonderful and I encourage you to stick with it.

  3. Fiona on June 5, 2022 at 11:12 PM

    I really liked your poem. The friendship was different than I envisioned but all the more meaningful. The honesty you continued to try and portray while staying loyal and supportive was really nice. I thought the comparison with death and prison was really profound and the symbolism of the master of foundations at the end was excellent. I think it also shows how valuable your impact is on your nephew and how imperative you are to him in his life, through thick and thin. I also thought the flow was perfect.

  4. Samantha on June 8, 2022 at 11:34 AM

    This is a really great poem, its written very beautifully. While it might be hard to always be there for ur nephew physically, the level of love and support u provide emotionally and verbally will be remembered and appreciated when he’s older. You say that building a stronger connection and having him see you as a hero will lead to disappointment but I don’t think thats true. I think him seeing you take a bad thing and turn it into something good for yourself is pretty inspiring and shows no matter where life takes you, you can always make it into something positive. Maybe what Im saying might seem stupid to you, cuz for me personally when I get advice I always feel like no one understands and the advice can fall on deaf ears, but I really think you can still be a good guiding figure for your best friend. I wish you and your family the best.

  5. KC on July 28, 2022 at 1:32 PM


    Your poem demonstrates so much introspection. The images of lighthouses and airplanes show the childlike wonder contrasted by death and prison. I love the lines, “the only thing they understand
    Is presence, or lack thereof.” I hope you find friendship and love in those you write and interact with. Keep writing!


  6. Juliana on September 23, 2022 at 12:31 PM

    MV, that was an amazing writing piece. I love how you compared both a lighthouse and the prison, and heaven and an airplane. The way you compared you as a child and your nephew was a great way to add emotion to the poem. Keep up the awesome work!

  7. Oshane on October 11, 2022 at 11:48 AM

    This a beautiful poem I like your usage of metaphors and bringing awareness that children’s perceptions of things are so innocent and pure but with time as they age they will come to understand the hard truth of this world and the challenges that come with being an adult.

  8. HL on October 12, 2022 at 3:18 PM

    One thing I adored about this poem was not only the fact that it is rife with complicated emotions, but also that it plays with the dichotomy between the perspectives of child and adult. As children, we view the world from an insistently optimistic lens, but your writing delves into the truths that children often aren’t able to comprehend until they’re older, like the world isn’t black and white, but rather there are grey areas. There was one line I’d like to touch upon in your poem, which was “The temptation is to make me your hero / but time will only bring disappointment”. Based on your descriptions, it sounds like your relationship with your nephew is beautiful and genuine, and that you bring each other a lot of joy; after all, you’re “best friends”. And in a relationship as sincere, heartfelt and special as that, I don’t think either person could ever be seen as a disappointment by the other, even in difficult circumstances. It’s the struggles we go through that bring us closer to those we love, and those who love us in return. Just a thought. This was a lovely poem. Keep writing more like it!

  9. Dhara Patel on October 17, 2022 at 7:54 AM

    This was such a beautifully written poem. I can really see the inspiration from this as you compare the lighthouse to prison to being with God. The comparisons and contrasts in this poem really show a great form for depth to this. Amazing job!

  10. Ainsley on October 18, 2022 at 10:40 PM

    Hi MV,
    This poem was so beautifully written. I could feel the strength of the bond and friendship that you’re talking about through your words. I think the innocence of children is something that is so precious and love the way you are describing cherishing and protecting this perspective. The way you describe wanting to be this child’s hero but fearing disappointing them is such a selfless thought. I often have these concerns about my younger siblings, worrying that I won’t be able to do enough; support them enough, physically, and emotionally be there enough. Remember that you are much more than just a criminal. The love that you have for this individual in your life and way that you speak of them speaks volumes to your character. You are also a phenomenal writer and have such a way with words. Thank you so much for sharing this piece!

  11. Emily on October 23, 2022 at 10:34 PM

    This is a very honest poem. One, the poem itself is a very heartfelt piece of work. You poured your heart and soul into this, and I can tell your nephew means a lot to you. And two, a bit of advice. You can take it with a grain of salt, or you can listen to it. Now, I don’t know why your in prison, but if you truly love your nephew and he loves you back, at the end of the day he will still be there effort you. If you put in the love and effort that you can into his life, he will still come visit you and have you a part of his life. I truly think that once he gets older and is able to comprehend your situation and you be upfront with him, but still put in the love into the relationship, he will always be a part of your life.

  12. Stace on October 24, 2022 at 4:08 PM

    This was a really good poem that speaks to a bond that is strong even though it is distant. I agree, death and prison are two things that is hard to explain to a child, but expressing love to them is never misunderstood. Keep writing.

  13. Jill on November 6, 2022 at 7:32 PM

    This poem was powerful and the use of wording was very impactful. Comparing airplanes and lighthouses to death and prison was a truly creative way of writing and got your overall message across. Great Poem!

  14. RB on March 27, 2023 at 1:13 PM

    This poem had so much emotion. I could feel the love you have for your nephew / best friend. I was expecting a poem more about friendship but this was so much more impactful. I loved the different comparisons you used; it was very creative.

  15. Tim Kuang on October 22, 2023 at 9:12 PM

    I like how you incorporated questions throughout as it made the poem sound like a song, so this poem was very memorable and stuck out to me a lot. Thank you for writing this!

  16. Sarah on November 12, 2023 at 8:05 PM

    I love the gentle way you explain tough situations. The harsh truths of life are not easy to tell a child, especially when it’s about such a personal matter, but I really appreciate the care you put into your words. It is easy to tell you love your nephew, and I admire the relationship you seem to have. This was a beautiful expression of your care, and I hope to see more of your work.

  17. Caeden on December 4, 2023 at 6:32 PM

    Hi MV,

    This poem is so, so wonderful. The words you chose to use showcase your skill as a writer. The question about living in a lighthouse and the answer you gave—’You can say that, there’s A bright light and a tower.’—knocked me off of my feet. Thinking of your nephew’s innocent wonder and how you work to maintain that, but also knowing what your response also means, made me so emotional. It reminds me of the questions I used to ask my parents about my cousins who were incarcerated. You’re right; the thing children understand is a lack of presence. But I hope you know how much your nephew values and loves you. You write about worrying about eventual disappointment, of “the mask falling” and you being “just a criminal.” But just like he’s your best friend, you’re his best friend too. The impact you have on him will always be with him.

  18. Elijah Parkos on December 7, 2023 at 11:33 AM

    Dear MV,

    Your poem is incredible. It is full of complex emotions and vulnerability. The bond between you and your nephew is very sweet, and I’m sorry that it was interrupted. You say that you are “just a criminal,” but I want you to know that you are much more than that. The way you show your relationship with your nephew proves to me that, despite the mistakes you have made, you’re still a good person. When you tell him “I will always listen,” it shows that you have given him not only someone to talk to, but someone to look up to. You always give him the space to learn, question, grow, and to express himself. You’ve already been through so much with him, so don’t feel like this is the end. Life is constantly changing, and you still have your whole life ahead of you. Your work is amazing, thank you for sharing this poem. Please don’t ever stop writing.


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