I Miss You

by Mariana Nieto


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Every happy moment is finite,
Protected in amber.
Fleeting, slipping through slender fingers like sand.

I miss you.
Even though you’re right in front of me,
I miss you.

I know you’re still here,
But in your eyes, I can see how sad you are.
I can see how disturbed you’ve been.

I miss you.
I miss when your random “I love you” texts don’t sound alarms.
I miss you.

All the pill bottles in your house have been purged or locked up
Every couple months you go on week-long “vacations.”
The hospital knows your name.

I miss you.
I miss before your life became a big secret to everyone around you.
I miss you.

I hate to see you cry in my arms,
Your fingers laced in mine.
I hope my comfort is enough for now.

I miss you.
I miss before I had to count you as the reason for my hard week.
I miss you.

And the only pills in the house are your medications.
Every time you try to leave, you throw your friends, family, to the wind.
You leave for a trip to the unknown, but they always return you.
There’s a reason.

I miss you.
I miss you before all the cuts were visible through your ripped jeans.
I miss you.

And I love you.
If only you could know how many other people do.
Maybe it would save you one more time.

I miss you.
I miss you before you were taking weekly trips to the school counselor.
I miss you.

And although your life is like a dog without a bone,
And the only thing you can find comfort in is drugs and your own mental illness,
I’m here for you.

I miss you.
I miss you before you told me that you coped by turning your arm into meatloaf.
I miss you.

And I know I should know how to help you,
But you’re so far deep that when I reach in to help you,
You slip away from my grasp like a bar of soap.

I miss you.
I missed you before I wrote this poem, when you didn’t become another statistic.
I miss you.

And although you’re not gone, I must prepare for when you leave.
Your parents don’t know what to do.
And all the other kids think you’re another sad story.

But your story matters, and when you won’t be there to tell it, I will.
I’ll always be there for you.
I miss you.


Mariana Nieto is a seventh grade student; she has grown up in a military family spending several years abroad. Her goal is to use her talents and life experiences to help those struggling with depression. She seeks to spread hope through poetry.


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May-June 2023