I wrote this in honor of my high school mathematics teacher, Virginia Guthery, who celebrates 80 years of a most influential life this month. Not everyone is so blessed, but many of us in fact owe a tremendous debt to one or two extraordinary teachers, people who were instrumental in leading us to a never-ending search for illumination. Ms. Guthery was that kind of special teacher.


In Honor of Virginia Guthery

How far beyond measure
Is the worth of the true teacher.
That rare soul who
Can lead your soul
To follow the endless search
Into what lies below
And what soars above,
And what connects it all.

Mentor, yogi, rabbi, shaman,
Teacher. The one who
Will not accept less
Than the best you have
And then demands that
Which is beyond your best.

The one who won’t reveal
The answer, but instead
Points to a path that leads there.
Who imparts knowledge,
But especially that knowledge
Which, when unwrapped,
Unfolds into a map.
The secret places do exist,
But only for those who seek.
They are not merely given.

We all sojourn alone.
The barrier between souls
Is infinite, but not
Students trudge in rows,
Endless empty faces,
And the chance is small
That any will encounter
A jewel in the classroom,
Will look up and see
A bright flare that ignites
Their fire to learn,
The zeal to discover.

There is no metric
That measures the worth
Of the ones who make
The universe your doorstep.

February 2017
© 2017 Chuck Puckett