It seems slightly strange to feature a poem with the title of “Graduate” in the month of September. I’ll admit it. School has just started again and the finish line for both teachers and students is no where in sight. One has to keep in mind that though it is the very beginning of another school year, the formation of future graduates has already begun and continues. New experiences, challenges, friendships, students, and teachers will shape the year that is to come and the very people all of those involved are to become. We all continue to change throughout the course of our lives. It is amazing how someone can have a profound effect upon your life even after the briefest time but with the most meaningful words, insightful questions, or larger than life spirit.  Here is a poem by Fr. James P. Nieckarz that expresses a thank you for an impactful presence and a wish that someone will be a similar blessing in return.


Your rich and rounded laughter
And your wryly tilted questions,
O, the sharp and happy brilliance
Of your lively arrow eyes
So keen to meet the truth!
And yes, your newest wondering
About the possible and doubts
Have made a difference
And stirred a teacher’s dying youth
To start the search again
With mind and hands stretched out
To catch the deeper meanings
In hints and mere suggestions.
Then may you be as lucky as I,
When your own sweet spirit
Starts to age (as spirits do),
At that most crucial time,
O may you meet
A youth as kind and dear to you
As you have been to me.

Fr. James P. Nieckarz