BOWING by Tim Skeen

to Steve Adisasmito-Smith (1965-2022)

At the department party, you were telling me about crows
And their importance in religion and mythology, how
Crows can represent rebirth. That’s interesting, I said
And explained that for me crows are Roshis because
I listened to them when I lived at a Zen monastery.
That’s interesting, you said. We never finished talking
About crows. Our children grew up as we discussed
Curriculum. I always meant to ask if you remember

That my elementary school daughter created your
Portrait with sidewalk chalk near the host’s porch
At the end of the party? Of all the remarkable people
She met for the first time that night, my daughter chose
You. Bowing over it together, we laughed, and went
Home before the elements could take your likeness away.

Photo by Brendan Landis, used and adapted under CC.