Half a Life, by Darrin Strauss
Location: Ms. Frame's Office

Ande Perry
Julia Harrison

Lindsay Tyler
4 Poems

#1 Tragedy

Trying to disappear
from the madness of life
that lies outside these doors
Friends laughing
Radio exploding
A light breeze taking away the pressure of existence
Blocking out the chaotic elements of my world
Or where I’ll find parking at the mini golf course
And then
A reflector vest in the windshield
A life changing pounce
in the blink of an eye
Blurring life into irreversible

#2 The Shadowy Giant

Careless boy
Blaring radio
Hysterical friends
Helpless biker
A recipe for disaster
I try to play out the rest
of my horrifying day
I piece together little details
and sift through my overloaded brain
with the hope of finding a concept to this catastrophe
But then just a shadow
A giant blackness of a blank memory
my mind tries to put together an image to fit this silhouette
but something impedes my train of thought
and I can’t remember how I got here.

#3 The Script

The curtain opens
A spotlight shines on the evidence of our misfortune
Curious witnesses appear
Policemen jot down elements of a disaster
The EMS carry away her soul and mine
I watch from the darkness behind the curtain
The audience can’t see my emotion
my role in this mistake
I collapse to my knees
Cover my face with my hands
and exaggerate my sorrow
The curtain closes
The lights slowly dim
The audience is filled with a chilling
There is no comic relief
and no applause
When the lights switch on
I still remain in the darkness of this permanent bruise
a mysterious and unfortunate
blemish of my peculiar

#4 Darkness

Summer enters
with new beginnings
The sun shines bright on the future
Leaving familiar friends for new ones
Moving out into the real world
and starting a new life
While the seniors move on to a world of
independence and curiosity
he will move on to darkness
and she will descend to heaven
His body will keep on walking
but through a series of questions he can never seem to answer
His life becomes a dark mystery
that slowly evolves into a treacherous emotional journey
and over time
this voyage of tears
and sunless days
will soon lead him to the top of the mountain
where a small spark of reality and acceptance
will bring him back to life.

Cathy Agro
Discussion Options:
1. Overall, did you like the book?
2. Why do you think Strauss went to the parents house before he left for college?
3. Does the book give you a good insight on what life would be if this happened to you?

Significant Characters:

Jill Frame