Life Is Like a Roller Coaster

Editor’s note: Two weeks before he was killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Alex Schachter composed the following free-verse poem, an assignment for a literary fair. His father, Max, recited the poem toward the end of the CNN town hall at the BB&T Center in Sunrise; his brother, Ryan, read the poem at Alex’s funeral. “Alex loved roller coasters,” Max said of his 14-year-old son at the town hall. “He wasn’t writing about his life—and had no idea his poem would become his future.”

Life is like a roller coaster
It has some ups and downs
Sometimes you can take it slow
Or very fast
It may be hard to breathe at times
But you just have to push yourself
And keep going
Your bar is your safety
It’s like your family and friends
You hold on tight and don’t let go
But sometimes you might throw your hands up
Because your friends and family will always be with you
Just like that bar keeping you safe at all times
It may be too much for you at times
The twists,
The turns,
The upside downs,
But you get back up
You keep chugging along
And eventually it all comes to a stop
You won’t know when
Or how
But you will know that it will be time to get off
And start anew.
Life is like a roller coaster.

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