Doing Something Good

1,140 kids

That’s how many different people I might see in the hallways in a year

But it’s the one I won’t see that makes a difference


I barely went to school with Dmitri

He was a junior when I was a freshman, 

but by the middle of the year, he wasn’t in the school anymore

He was in the hospital instead.

You see, he’d been diagnosed with cancer

And here, all I’m thinking about is my best friend’s dead mom

And he loved Model UN. Loved it so much. 

He wasn’t there with me when I joined since he was busy being sick

But his presence was still there


And then a year later, it wasn’t.

The seniors built a bench for him. 

The teachers raised money for his family.

The basketball team fundraised for his cause.

And I wasn’t sure what to do to remember him.


Until I met Sasha.

He walked into the first day of Model UN

one of a few freshmen who seemed a little too small to be in high school

But when he spoke, we all listened.

And we realized that he was Dmitri’s little brother,

Here in the club that his dead big brother had loved so much. 


And so three seniors who’d never really known Dmitri made a pact that we

The Somerville High School Model UN officers

Would do justice to the program for Sasha. For Dmitri.


We didn’t talk about it, but we all acknowledged it to each other that we might have 

Teared up a little when he told us how much fun he’d had with us that year

Filmed on our phones during the conference awards, hoping he might have won

Cried while at the school newspaper seeing that he wrote about it for the whole school

Because how can you say it out loud?

You just know that you’ve done something right

Something for the kid who’s lost so much, and maybe for his brother too.

This poem is about: 
My community


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