yesterday was a day of hard news
when i moved to this old farm
i wanted to know more about the landscape.
i had been living in the adirondacks, and now
north of the blue line there were things i wanted to know.
how to identify things. 
how the ecosystem here works.
so i took a class 
with the amazing dr john green at st lawrence university
we walked out every class
learning to dig and eat ground nuts
identify scats, made a bird skin
at yoga yesterday i asked janet how he was doing.
john's heart stopped in july while he was swimming, 
vacationing, in a vermont lake
(john's heart had stopped several times before)
he was 87. i was away, and missed this sad news.
i remember him with love, respect.
at our house these candies, sesame seeds and honey
the kids long ago named dr. green candy
john would hand them out while hiking
and he gave ian one once. 
after yoga there was a festival in the park
news of several friends with pancreatic cancer. 
another friend with a long illness.
they are learning to live
and die, with courage and grace. 
to janet, and to cait and chris and ed and becky
i send my love.
to those who knew john,
i share this:
i'm out skiing with wendy, meet john also on skis,
 with his beloved tuck, black labrador, big grin,
on the kip tract, in the glorious snow.
his 70-something boyish grin, a greeting and a hug,
a little chat, and we ski on.
goodbye john.