She taught me creative writing
but what I learned had nothing to do with words.
She taught me what seventy-eight years old looks like,
which is that the body
still has the same amount of shine
it just stores it all in the eyes.
She taught me that when you slow down
you are not the river anymore,
you are the riverbank
which is just as beautiful.
She taught me that wrinkles
are the stretch marks
of a full life.
She taught me that I could only see her by listening
so when I miss her now
I open the window
and listen to the birds.
She used to say if I was patient,
I might hear the oldest ones