(listen to the poem, read by Diane R. Wiener)
I heard you speak on YouTube, regretful of the indistinctiveness of your words,
And yet, there they were,
exposing the seethe of reality.
I touched the Braille for water,
On your fountain,
In a Radcliffe yard,
And thought of you as Thales,
For in your way and ours,
All began in water.
I cringed at distasteful jokes in your name,
Snide testimony that the passage of time is a weed,
Choking off dignity, accomplishment, and love.
In a play and a film,
They said reaching you was a miracle,
But miracles defy nature,
They do not unlock it.
If I share with you,
The unawareness of my shadow,
This Peter Pan has learned to fly in yours.
About the Author
Nick Racheotes is a product of the Boston public schools, Brandeis University, and Boston College, from which he holds a Ph.D. Retired from teaching at Framingham State University, he is professor emeritus of history. Racheotes is currently an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. His primary research interest is the history of the Russian Orthodox Church. Among his publications are several articles and a book on the life of St. Filaret Drozdov, and an article on the history of philanthropy in Russia. He and his wife, Pat, divide their time between Boston and Cape Cod.