HBW Graduation Poem 2023: Potential Energy


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Elija Hiatt Original
Like the river water
at the top of the waterfall,
the diving board
before the dive,
the fireworks
about to be launched,
You are potential energy,
the ideas and dreams and wisdom
of the past four years
about to be released.

I wish I could tell you
what the future holds,
but the truth is
I can’t,
because no one can know for sure
how your story will unfold.

Life is a work in progress
and we are all
constantly in revision.

I can give you the same advice
the grownups gave me
when I was your age.

But you’ve heard it all before,
and the things you really want to know
I can’t tell you.

I can’t tell you
how to put a heart
back together
after it breaks

I can’t promise
you won’t get lost
from time to time
on your journey.

But what I know for sure is this—

The love in this room
from your family
and your teachers
and your friends—

That is your North Star.

We all take different paths in life
but we do not walk alone.

Let the wind, soft and gentle,
push you forward.
On your most difficult journeys,
remember to rest
but never to quit.

And if your dream doesn’t come true?
Dream another dream
but never stop dreaming.

You are strong.
You are beautiful.
You are loved.

And today
and every day
We feel proud and privileged to
share our lives with you.

We stand beside you
waiting, watching
cheering you on

as you use your magnificent,
potential energy
to change the world.

Jennifer Kleinknecht has been the media specialist at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School since 2007 and has written poems for many of its graduations. Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

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