Poem: Dragonlady (A Tribute To Anne McCaffrey)
Once upon a time, a teacher taught her students well.
She taught their mathematics, and how to read and write and spell.
She taught them to like science, to play music, and to speak,
and taught a love of books and words, and then she said to them one week:
“Write a good long letter to an author you want to meet,
and who knows, maybe he or she will write back, as a treat!
Here’s the book of postal codes and addresses you’ll need,
and write what’s in your hearts, my dears, I know you will succeed!”
Once upon a time, a girl daydreamed the day away
in a classroom with no friends of hers to play with every day.
She devoured books on dragons, their riders and their care,
and when she got the chance she wrote to the author there:
“To the Dragonlady who writes the books that I devour,
how can I become like you, a writer? Will I need more than an hour?
I love the worlds and people that live inside your books,
so I ask you, Dragonlady, is it as easy as you make it look?”
Once upon a time, not so very long ago,
a Dragonlady wrote back to a child she didn’t know.
She’d asked the Lady why she wrote, she’d asked her why she dreamed,
and the Dragonlady smiled, and to the girl came clean:
“I was once a girl like you, and I wrote all the time,
most of what I penned at first was fluff and dust and grime.
And I knew I had to practice, and practice then did I,
for it’s not the point to publish stuff, what matters is you try!”
Once upon a later time, the world was bereft
of a Dragonlady Masterharper who for the next adventure left.
She left to us her words and worlds, of dragons, time and space,
and not a day goes by that girl without a smile on her face:
“Thank you, Dragonlady, for the tales that you shared.
It’s how I know you loved your work, it’s how I know you cared.
Your planets were the settings of the dreams that kept me sane,
and I wish you sweetly on, and your memory remains.”
Go softly, Ms. McCaffrey.