This poem, for my dear old teacher who has just died, begins with a line from Cecilia’s blog
Besides bringing a small farm back to health in the U.S. prairies, Cecilia cares for the health of the old people nearby, with humour and tenderness.

‘Everybody needs an old person,’
she said.
And now you have slipped
into the earth of Parihaka*
where you learned the art
of peace
 Your voice was dark as molasses
Your eyes, firelight warm
Your laugh a bubbling broth
Your jokes corny
like my dad’s.
Your songs welled up
from a cavern of aroha.*
Everybody needs an old person
But you, my teacher,
Last of the line, are gone.
I am the old person now.

*Parihaka: famous for its passive resistance to invasion, led by Te Whiti, a prophet of peace, who practised non violence before the days of Ghandi.
* Aroha: the Maori word for love.