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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Janee on January 23, 2008
"This is really not a 'tribute' poem for Heath Ledger - I did enjoy his acting, but the issue at stake in this poem is deeper than simply remembering an actor I happened to like."

Heath Ledger

I never knew him at all except as a British soldier,
Forever confused by war and cowardice,
Friendship, loyalty, and the quest for courage -
Who discovered at last his own sense of honor.

I never knew him at all except as a noble peasant,
Whose world was filled with teasing laughter,
Whose eyes glinted with the distant starlight
That was never beyond the reach of his dreams.

Had we met on some crowded street corner,
And he passed, with the polite empty nod
Of the rich and famous who expect to be known -
I would have stayed but a moment in memory.

Yet for his passing there was more grief than I felt
For that lonely old man who lived five houses down
With a dog and three cats, who walked my street each day,
Pausing for friendly conversation with everyone -

Whose name I have already forgotten.

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