“A Letter to a Jumper” by Shawn Price

Poetry Contest Winner

For every kid two steps too close to the edge,

Stay still.

It’s better to ground with hell in your mind,

Then to be in hell with the ground on fire;

Stay here,

Because I love you;

And I know you don’t hear it enough,

But you should know it as fact…


I remember when you called me,

I missed the first 3 attempts but luckily woke up on a second ring.

I picked up the phone to silence,

No greetings, just deep breaths and sniffles,

“Why are you crying?”

And after a few times of you trying to deny it,

You finally decided to confide in me.

I asked “What’s wrong?”

So you told me that “It’s all bad”

I tried to tell you to see a brighter vision,

But you said “it’s all bad”

You told me that you’re sight on God was getting as narrow as this path you’re on.

You don’t want to leave things behind, but you’re tired of Satan’s whispers,

He’s telling you to end it all.

So I know this cliff looks like the gateway to your paradise,

But you’re far greater than another news report

And your life is far greater than being loss for lost causes.

But finding a break through with you wasn’t stable, you just cried to me,

You told me it’s too hard,

I know his whispers are getting louder by every minute and tough time.

He’s telling you to end it all,

And you told me that you’re thinking of being obedient.

I told you “No”

I said “My friend, you will not die tonight!

Not by your own hand”

You told me it was the only way to stop the pain,

But that’s just what demons want you to think,

But the only light at the end of this tunnel are flames,

“There’s always a better way.”

And I told you to take my hand and squeeze it when it hurts,

And you went along for the time being…


Now it seems we must reach this peak again,

But this jump won’t catch your hopes, but my arms are out and open.

I’m writing to say “My friend, you will not die tonight!”

I’m writing to say “I love you”

So please just take my hand,

And you can squeeze it lifeless when life uses too much.

I just need you to stay here a little while longer,

I don’t want to have to miss you too.


You’d be taking away more than your life…

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