01 02 03 Prone to Wander: Mrs. Ryan, 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Mrs. Ryan,

34

I spoke your name tonight,
first and last,
“lit” one of those LED candles,
in a circle of 35 other teachers,
from all over the state.
When my turn came, I did not hesitate.
Your first and last name spilled from
my lips as I remembered how you
believed in me when others did not.
You told me that my writing worked and that
I would be published one day.
You introduced me to two of
my favorite writers, Mary Higgins Clark
and Anne Lamott, neither who has left my side.
You wrote me letters after I left for college.
You cared.
I need you to know that
when I teach my own students,
You are never far from my mind.

As I sat silently in the circle,
I listened to other names spoken.
First name, last name,
followed by the light of the candle.
The dim room hid the tears that
danced down my cheeks as I remembered you.
Then I smiled.

Thank you.

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