Poem by Tom Ricker

Poem by Tom Ricker
Written 12/29/21


This morning
I heard the news
of your passing.
For a moment
I thought, somewhat selfishly,
that we should have had
that virtual lunch we spoke of,
a few months ago,
but then never planned.
It had been too long
since we spoke,
and now…

The light has been passed on,
or more precisely,
the flame, not extinguished
but shared once more;
diluted in the air above Tucson,
and nourishing the ground.

But this is how you lived,
passing the torch,
one person, one formation.
one movement at a time.

Your life,
or at least that portion of it you shared with me,
was the waves that ripple out
from the stones throw,
– that sinking, all encompassing
call to justice;
waves touching and lifting
those around you.

So, when we say “presente”
it is a presence called into being,
from the many lives you’ve enriched.
Like the water and the flame,
you have been elemental.

And all that said, Chuck,
Mostly, and somewhat selfishly,
I’m just really going to miss you.