Parting Words

For Ted*

Here at time’s edge, we seek those words that know
What time portends within its spinning gyre,
What path to other hearths, to other fires,
That passes on the flame you’ve sought to grow.
We would assume the task to fuel the glow
And nurture what your labors yet inspire
Until such time as time itself acquires
That holy place whence Fire itself must flow.

Yet ‘tis only in that Fire that hearts perceive—
And not by human art but by divine—
The greatest treasure: not what we achieve
But what is giv’n: the long eternal line
That binds together hearts in heaven’s weave
Where minutes measure not, nor words define. 

*In honor and on the occasion of Rev. Dr. Theodore J Wardlaw as president of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.