Immortality

(By Pat Duffy Hutcheon)

She who in life sought neither power
nor yet the wider world's acclaim,
may seem to leave no trace beyond
the fading echo of her name.
No trace upon the unmarked ground
on which her gentle steps have passed.
No well-paved trail to stay the growth
of spring's regenerating grass.

But time dissolves all monuments
to selfish fame that can accrue.
Relentlessly the pen moves on,
selecting what endures as true;
and marks upon posterity
the actions we cannot disown.
Our passage through this world is cast
More tellingly than any stone.

For as she touched the lives of those
her living presence gladly knew,
so she bequeathed a heritage
of loving kindness firm and true.
For all her actions will endure --
are added to the culture's store;
like ripples on a mountain stream,
her passage felt for evermore.

Her days were vested to the full
with nature's sweet nobility.
From such as she stems all that we
can ever know of dignity.
For she who lived by love has altered
every person that she knew;
and we are all the richer now
because of her brief passing through.