Back then, you were all knees and potential;
Eyes holding the light which quietly absorbed every nugget.
Your delicate hunger took everything offered
With a grave conviction; you examined every facet
And found it beautiful.
Yours was a gentle passion – too gentle sometimes –
The coarse turbulence of schooldays could overwhelm you –
Then those eyes were fearful
And anyone with the courage to notice
Felt diminished…and culpable.
You had the same capacity for life
As the friends and brothers you so loved –
The fearless appetites of the young,
But somehow yours was wider.
Perhaps, in some unfathomable corner,
You knew you would need more space
To gather life, as that other dimension – time – was to be too narrow.
Almost without my notice, you grew,
And your poise and grace grew too.
A calm smile on the face of a world depleted now.
This is the you I shall hold in my heart.
Jess' English teacher at Trent College