The love of my life and I visited the Green Bay Botanical Garden this summer. As we always do, we went to the domed Stumpf Belevedere gazebo to read the line of Ellen Kort's poetry inscribed there.
We knew Ellen. I had the pleasure of working with her on a couple of small projects and I worked with her late son, Kris. My wife taught her grandson and knows her daughters.
To be honest, hundreds of people were closer to Ellen Kort than I was, yet I felt the loss. It was something about her poet's heart and peaceful presence that made people feel a closer connection than the facts could justify.
My most special interaction with Ellen was having her respond to a column I wrote about taking part in the Midwest Crane Count -- watching the sun come up over a farm field and recording the activities of the sandhill cranes.
She called me and read a poem to me over the phone. I didn't include the full poem at the time because she hadn't published it yet. A recent email asked if I could provide the full text.
Here it is. My wish is that we all see Ellen's shadow on the ground at times that we are in need of calm.