May 08, 2015
The following poem by Natalie Cribari, titled "Heroin," was included in the Pennsylvania State Coroners Association's 2014 Report on Overdose Statistics.
It was written by the young Harrisburg-area woman on Christmas Day 2005 – three months before she died of a heroin overdose at the age of 20 – to warn others about the dangers of abusing drugs. Natalie wrote the poem from Dauphin County Prison. She died 19 days after she was released.
Natalie's mother shared the poem with Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick and asked that it be shared to help prevent others from having to experience the loss of a child.
“She was a good student, a good kid that most likely went down this path of first abusing prescription drugs and then finally using heroin," Hetrick said in testimony before the state House Human Services Committee on Jan. 31, 2014.
"She tried to escape the lure of opiates but wasn’t strong enough," Hetrick said.
• • •
Through poison-tainted veins, I feel
A warmth that soothes, but is surreal
It's funny how we became acquainted
He made me quiver, I almost fainted.
He seemed so cool, so calm, and sweet
He swept me off my virgin feet.
We fell in love, or so I thought
My soul, Almighty love, is what he sought.
He hid his identity with a comforting mask,
Only to disguise his horrid task.
With every kiss, he sucked me dry.
His soft caress was all a lie.
He came inside me: just a little prick
It made me lightheaded, and a little bit sick
He abused me raw, 'til my arms were sore
My cheekbones were visible
But I craved him more.
He made me chase him
And steal, lie and cheat
He wore down my body
Until I fell in defeat.
He cackled at my pain
His full destruction of me
But I am too dope sick
That this I can't see.
Still, I begged and I pleaded
For him to return
An ongoing cycle
Why didn't I learn?
So at night I fell asleep
With him by my side
But woke up with no one
"He promised!" [He lied)
So today, again, I make it
My priority, my chore,
To find him in vain
And again be his whore.
His passion I want
I crave, and I need
The rush that I get
Fill that indeed
I may never make it
But to you, I dare say
If he should strut by, look the other way
He'll charm you and flirt
With his deadly advances
He'll shower you with false promises
And convincing romances
He could come upon you, any old day
With a twinkle in his eye,
And his look that could sway.
This is your warnin', so dalin' take heed
What he does offer you, you surely don't
A handful of problems, a life that is dark
In no time he'll have you,
And your gravestone he'll mark.
• • •
READ MORE about Natalie's fight with addiction and hear her family talk about the challenges of coping with her death nearly 10 years later.