John My Friend


Today was a bittersweet occasion,
Helped me for a moment to reduce my constant raging.
John, you are now free…at home…at last,
This past year, gone, it escaped us so fast.
I know you left a truly changed man,
I watched you every day…making your reentry plans.
I already miss you and the jokes that we played,
Hopefully once I’m released, we’ll catch up…one of these days.
We butted heads, and fussed sometimes; I caused you a bit of tribulation,
As you left I heard as you said ‘goodbye & take care’…true jubilation.
When you left me here today, I regret that I left so much unspoken,
You are such a great friend, a mentor, I’m kind of heartbroken.
It’s rare to find a true friend like you in a place like this,
D*mn it John, you’re one friend I will surely miss.
So by the time you read this, you’ll be settled, back on your feet,
And the stigma you’ll face, well it’s something I know you can beat.
You’re highly educated…A Penn State grad,
So many qualities you shared, reminds me of my dad.
So I know I will surely hear from you soon,
As corny as it sounds, I’ll think of you each time I look at the moon.
So John, I love you my dear friend, but please don’t return,
Because this freedom you were granted, is something you definitely earned.

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  1. Reid Baron on March 30, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    Very balanced, and full of feeling. Hope you can see John soon, on the outside.

  2. Ryan on March 30, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    A touching tribute to what sounds like a good man.

  3. Raia and Alice on April 13, 2018 at 10:41 AM

    We thought this was very thoughtful and we enjoyed reading it.

  4. Fox Kloske on April 13, 2018 at 10:41 AM

    I really like your poem, the rhythm was amazing, It was so descriptive and great. I hope you write more!

  5. EBS on April 13, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    I like the way you included end rhyme to enhance your poem. It is very beautiful

  6. Taran on April 13, 2018 at 1:09 PM

    This is probably one of the most moving poems I have ever read. It made me realize that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you can always find a friend who will help you through it all.

  7. Judy Mandel on April 16, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    Dear DK, I loved your poem and really felt how much your friendship meant to you. Even while you were sorry to see your friend leave, I liked how you praised him and told him not to return. That selfless support of your friend was so very touching. Good luck, and keep writing. All my best.

  8. Liam Maloney on April 20, 2018 at 9:19 AM

    Dear DK, I just read your poem “John My Friend” and I was struck by how you talked about your friend being released from prison. In particular, I was moved at the line “So John, I love you my dear friend, but please don’t return” because it is bittersweet in that you express your love and appreciation for him in the form of a farewell. I remember when my best friend had to return to his home country in South Africa. Although it would be difficult to continue our friendship after his departure, I knew that it was best for him to go back home.

  9. Ethan Cosgrove on April 20, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    Dear DK,

    I just read your poem John My Friend. I was really struck by how much your friendship with John meant to you, and how you miss him, but you do not want him to return. I was particularly moved by the line, “I love you my dear friend, but please don’t return.” I have also lost many friends in my own life, and it can be a difficult time, but I am sure you will connect with some else just as you did with John.

    Best wishes,

  10. Devin N on April 20, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    Dear DK, I love your poem. Your poem, “John My Friend” is one of the best poems ive read in a long time. I personally like poems that I can connect to and I felt like you were speaking directly to me. Every time I find myself in a hard place i’ll remember that there are people like you who can keep the hope. I wish there were more people like you out there who genuinely loved their friends and only wanted the best for them no matter what they themselves wanted. “So John, I love you my dear friend, but please don’t return,”

  11. Kevin Kirlin on April 20, 2018 at 11:15 AM

    DK, I read your letter to john poem. I loved how you described your close friendship with john and how you guys were close friends who fought sometimes. I liked that you prayed that he not come back to prison even though you heard his “reentry plans” because he will take your advice and you will follow your own advice to John in not returning. Additionally, I liked how you complimented his education- a Penn State grad- because though I am still in high school I plan to apply to Penn State for college. I strongly encourage you to keep writing for Freeminds and to continue writing for them on the outside because of how far they have brought you. Although it’s much easier for me to say this as I am just beginning my adult life, it is never too late to turn your entire life around. The first step is always the hardest and it seems that you have already made that one.

  12. Christopher Dylan on May 21, 2018 at 4:04 PM

    Wow, very beautiful. I can feel the love and emotion that you must feel for your friend.

  13. truthandloveweb on May 21, 2018 at 10:53 PM

    Poetry is the best way to say the things that are too hard to say otherwise. Perfect use of the art form, and I love the last line.

  14. Kayelynn on May 10, 2020 at 6:52 PM


    Awesome tribute to your friendship with John! You talk about the ups and the downs you’ve faced in your close friendship, which is something we all have in common. I also like that you highlighted how far he came from where he began. Amazing and heartfelt words!

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