My teacher once walked this land
by Julia Ann Miller
Gathering stories like shiny stones.
Now his feet are encased on a tiny alter
And a plain pine box his bones
When my teacher touched his chest
His heart was visible and bright
The deaf could hear the hum
And blind could see the light
When my teacher talked
The sound flew like doves
Into a labyrinth of truth and fiction
That grew wild with love.
When my teacher practiced
From his seat or from his toes
The old shed years and
Proud fit into child's pose
Bliss took a breath
When my teacher died,
Death stood beside me
Softly thumped his chest and cried.