For four years,
you taught me lessons
not held in any textbook.
On the days
when academia
bled me dry,
you interceded,
with laughter,
with kindness,
and humanity.
You taught me how
to apologize to
the world when
I didn’t want to say it;
to be the bigger person,
when it was easier
to be bitter and unkind;
you taught me how
to do the right thing
because that was
what mattered most.
You taught me how
to lose myself
in the wonder of a stage,
the wholeness
of a character, someone
a role demanded.
You taught me how to love –
life, the world, myself,
especially myself,
because the world
was my life to offer.
You sent me off
a fuller being,
someone who knew things
through acting,
through believing,
through learning,
through teaching me
what mattered most.
The world lost
a little luster at your exit,
but the heavens will
shine brighter at night.