by Ginger Teppner

for all my teachers

You are the willow tree
Rooted firm in our backyard,
Solid with earth, forgoing flight.
I am the handmade kite,
A cross of two spliced limbs
Held together with twine.

My brightly colored tail is
A prayer flag cut from stained
Tea cloths and the neighbor’s
Discarded paisley pajamas,
Waving in the wind, safely tethered
To compassion’s branchy canopy.