The parting is the hardest part of fate—
The slow untangling knot still left unwound;
We pause as if the hour is too late
To divvy fair the treasure we have found.
Our words like fingers pointing at the moon;
Whose light reveals the shadows that you teach;
And this goodbye that seems to come too soon
The pulsing tide returns you to our reach.
With each soul you shaped the morphable clay
And lay to rest the fickle thorns of time;
You gave us all an ordinary day
Below some harsh summit we could not climb—
I’ve never asked, but I’ve wondered how and why
You somehow managed to teach frogs to fly.
(For Lorraine Ward on her retirement:
a good friend, mentor, and amazing boss)