Over the years I’ve been inspired to write some of my musings as poetry. I don’t see myself as a poet and seldom set out with the intention of writing a poem. These poems just seem to happen – in the shower, as I’m lying in bed waiting to fall asleep, skiing, hiking, kayaking or canoeing. This one emerged on a cold November morning in 1984 as I was running my “regular” loop in Hanover, NH.

What Might Have Been

Sometime – not often – I think of what he might have been.
He might have been an architect
But he builds incredible structures out of blocks.
He might have been a commercial artist
But people prize the drawings he has done.
He might have been an author
But he loves to visit the library and “read” books.
He might have been an athlete
But he’s the official scorekeeper, play-by-play announcer, and chief cheerleader at his brothers’ soccer games.
He might have been a politician
But he voted for his candidate in the 1984 Presidential election.
He might have been an actor
But he cracks us up regularly with his comic routines.
He might have been a veterinarian
But he sees redeeming features in his cat that no one else does.
He might have been a minister
But his concern for others is easily evident.
He might have been a teacher
But in his own way he has taught us much.

One thing I’ve never wondered about
Is why he is.
For he has already made his contributions to this world on a way that most of us have yet to do.
And I know that long after he is gone
He will be remembered by those he touched.
And all of us will have been enriched for having known him’
And thank God – whatever and wherever she is
For having set him among us.
For in this imperfect world
Perfection wears many guises.

When I read this now, so many years later, I am struck by how much of what I wrote then, still resonates with me today. I couldn’t have known then that Steve would continue to vote in local, state, and national elections for more than thirty years. I couldn’t have known that he would participate in Special Olympics. I couldn’t have known that he would appear as a Munchkin in the Burlington’s Community Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz. But I do know Steve continued to produce amazing art even thought a stroke in 2004 forced him to switch from his dominant right hand to his left. I do know his family and friends continue to remember and often quote his humorous and original “Steve-isms.” I do know that Steve is remembered first and foremost as a teacher by all who knew him.  And most importantly I still have never wondered why Steve came into my life. I am just so grateful that he did.

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