When I walk out at morning, I see my Kentucky landscape with eyes you helped open. Thanks to you for showing me how to find sand dabs and for teaching the power of incident.
When I read your poems to my students, my students destined to become middle school teachers, I tell them I am giving them the best gift.
“I am giving you Mary Oliver!” I say and I smile. They smile too.
“Here’s a poem,” I might say, “to help your students think about how to ask questions.” Or “here’s a poem about lilies, but what does it say to your teacherly heart?”
Thanks to you I am a better teacher, a more intimate one. Many teachers pass your words on to their students. We all know that your poems are the best gift.
When I sit down to write, to make life decisions, or even to talk with my dog, my words come closer to mattering because of the many ways your words-- both prose and poem-- have helped me to know my own life better.
I send you my gratitude, love, and best wishes,
Susan Nelson Wood