Jess

 

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.

 

by

Carol McNaught 

Jess' English teacher at Trent College