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Poem: Next Door

It is August 4, 1997 and Jonathan is 17. The Next Door Neighbor Is Battling Cancer.  He has 4 children, one of whom is Jonathan’s age.


Next Door
by Jonathan Kraft

Next door, Jesus is dying-
has cancer, a disease
which is eating the body from the inside out.

Next door, Jesus is struggling.
Struggling to hold a family together,
struggling to support the Jesus who is dying.

Next door, Jesus is searching.
Jesus is searching for where life is leading,
and is searching for meaning
in the life that is being searched for.

Next door, Jesus is waiting.
Waiting for something to happen,
anything to happen that will change the life
and the current position.

Next door, Jesus is looking.
Looking for something to cling to,
looking for someone to just listen,
looking for hope…

Next door, Jesus is doing all this, and more,
and I have not even taken the time to ask Jesus
if there’s anything I can do to help.


August 23, 1997
(Next door neighbor’s funeral)
Jonathan is 17

To Pat Neal

What an incredible man
you are. To have lived
with this, and yet never losing
the strength and dignity
which always defined you
as the person you are.

I will remember you as my soccer coach,
and I will remember you as my neighbor.
Mostly, I will remember you as my friend.

Enjoy your walk Pat.

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