You took me seriously,
and listened.

You laughed at my jokes,
and ignored my naiveté.

You pushed me,
sometimes too far,
but I felt safe
fighting back.

You showed me ways of
absorbing literature
that I did not know existed.

You introduced me to poetry,
and led me home.

Christy Wise is an author, poet, essayist and human rights activist. With her mother, she published “A Mouthful of Rivets: Woman at Work in World War II.” Wise’s writing has appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals including Bayou Magazine, the New York Times, Concho River Review and the Wall Street Journal. Several pieces have received awards. A fourth-generation California, Wise is most at home in Desolation Wilderness or in the presence of the Pacific Ocean.