To Dick Miller, my Friend. d. 2009
Dick was mute. Spoke with a whisper and a clacking tongue.
I met him at Antioch College as a student (1962?).
We fell into a wonderful friendship.
I had aspired to teach the blind at Perkins, Cambridge, MA.
Dick appeared , not blind, but I was immediately bonded.
He carried a notepad with him which we would trade back and forth,
Writing our thoughts and phrases to each other.
One day, I declared "No more notes". "I want to read your lips".
Dick, of course, already held that ability.
The paper soon became obsolete and we carried on flowingly.
One day, we were walking through our Ohio forest,
When suddenly I heard a cracking
And saw a distant tree starting to fall to the ground.
I touched Dick's shoulder and pointed to the right.
The great arboreal mass slowly swung down towards the north.
The crash for me was immense; for Dick, a bazaar sight.
We stood for a while together, marvelling each in our own way,
Then slowly pulled ourselves away and walked on, also to the north.
I shall remember that occurrence forever, as long as I live.
Being with Dick, the emphasis of sound
Was engraven in my mind--I could hear; he could not.
Dick, unknowingly, made me treasure my ability to hear;
A gift I treasure after all these six decades.
That afternoon stroll in the Ohio forest imprinted indelibly on my memory,
So that I am constantly conscious of
My beloved bird vocalizations I hear and joy to so often.
Frank Maurer 4 December 2022
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