Elizabeth Shield


The Teacher


Wizened, like the mountain ridges in the west,
you gazed across the desk at me, rheumy eyes unblinking,
and asked me what I wanted from life

When I answered, the blue opacity of your gaze seemed to sharpen
and pierce my soul
you clasped your hands comfortably, and rolled your ancient shoulders back
- trees rippled in the ridges of your crisply pressed shirt -
and you told me, with your well-worn voice, that you would exert every effort
to give me all the tools I needed to succeed

as you blinked, our conference ended, like the sun had gone down
I was free to leave, but lingered
your short white hair crested your brow like a fresh snowcap, you
had ravines beside your eyes, and smiled like a canyon
so I turned to go

And it occurred to me, as I left the inclines of your presence for
the flat horizons of my daily life, that I
would like to have the same peace that flowed
through your being,
it would be a healthy rain to the desert of my soul.

I longed to have the verdancy that you had - you,
forty years my senior; you put my youth to shame
but soon you would be my teacher, and
you would not let me go to waste

Submitted: Friday, March 07, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Topic of this poem: people


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