During this past week, a fellow student of mine, Dana Li, passed away. Her loss continues to pain the hearts of all members in our community. This poem was written in her name and spirit, and the lessons she had left behind for us to grasp.

Tears, still for the vivacious life blooming ‘round my toes

Tears, cease for the chill shivering hundreds of spines,

Freezing the broken shards of this raw wound,

And the splinters of our hearts held in tact ‘tween the loosest of chains

Tears, allow this passing be the sweetest of heartbreak,

Embraced by warmth of the setting sun’s kiss

On the curved face of each solitary tear

Let this departure be kind to the remaining fragments of this unwavering love

Let us live with a vibrant breath of the inconspicuous mundane

That we now gasp violently

Let us laugh with an exhilaration we yearn to had recognized before

Let new eyes meet our unwary gaze,

Latching fervently onto the chain of all kept cherished

And lift a beam that rises into our cheeks

And crinkles our eyes

As we sing our name to this exquisite, new face

Let us grasp this community with vigor we now undoubtedly obtain

And let us love every gust of air upon our shoulder

And every leaf crunching under our foot

And every challenge fate blows to our face

Circled by the taunting crimson sand of our struggles

For we only miss

Such a beautiful smile

Or a warm hand intertwining with our own

Until we are left without