Natalie’s poem

This is a beautiful poem my friend Natalie wrote. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.
Natalie- hope you don’t mind me posting your poem. I’m trying to make you famous. Love you and miss you SO much!

By Natalie Lou Ritter

Forgive me, Mom, I’m Not the Same
I think you knew that I would change
I couldn’t stay so long at sea
And not come home a different me.

I’ve been to the Mekong; the Amazon, too
The things that I’ve done: if only you knew.
I’ve paraglided in the Andes Mountains
Said a prayer at Hiroshima fountains
I’ve jumped off of cliffs down river gorges
And from the Ganges saw burning corpses
I’ve seen the Taj; Climbed the Great Wall
I’ve Jumped Out of Planes; I’ve done it All
Climbed to the Golden Rock in Myanmar
I Don’t think I ever have climbed that far.
Monasteries, Pagodas, Temples and Shrines
Horseback riding in Stellenbosch; sampling wines
I dove with sharks and jumped off a bridge
I Forced Myself to Really Live.

Sure, All these things can be relayed
In the photo albums that’ll be displayed
But to convey all this will be demanding—
Experience is Nothing Without Understanding.

So Forgive me, Mom, if I Start To Cry
For all of the things I really can’t describe:
Walking next to dead bodies in the road
Not reaching out to a child’s hand to hold.
The people in poverty and those afraid to speak
For fear if they do, they’ll be in jail the next week
Because their government has such a watchful eye.
All the people with AIDs , getting ready to die.
The beggars in India who walk on their hands
Because they’re diseased and unable to stand
And the people in shacks who sleep inches apart
Offer only a smile and it rips out my heart

I’ve seen beauty and devastation
I’ve felt sorrow; I’ve felt elation
I’ve seen birth and I’ve felt death;
Forgive me, Mom, but what is left?

So if you could, Mom, just give me time
When I come home, let me unwind
I need a moment to just. Stand. Still.
Please understand (I’m sure you will)

I couldn’t stay so long at sea
And not come home a different me
So long as I change, the world changes, too
But be proud, Mom, because I came from you.


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