This weekend, we held a party for a dear friend who will soon return to her homeland after…man, I dunno…close to 20 years in the States.

Incredible person, indeed, and the subject of a poem I scratched together in her honor. Sophomoric at best, it did draw some laughs and such from the party, so hope you enjoy it, too. No doubt, some inside jokes may slip by unnoticed like tears in rain, but enjoy. We’ll miss you, Judith!

She’s the first one to greet you
when you come in through the door.
This Colombian concierge,
measures up at 5 feet 4…maybe.

When you ask her how she’s doing,
she’ll likely respond, “Howard Joo?”
Well, I’ve never me this “Howard,”
but I’m sure he’d like her, too.

She goes by Judith, Judi, Judíth –
just like God, she’s got lots of names.
She’s Anna Judith Molina.
She’s our buddy all the same.

You know her; I know her.
She’s got a place in all our hearts.
Yet, soon, our little Colombian –
to Colombia – will depart.

But not on such sweet sorrow
should we let our sonens* rest.
Let us recall—and keep ‘bove all—
what makes Judíth the best!

We can’t stand here before her
and recount ALL that makes her tops.
The list is too long, and I’d soon start slurring
thanks to barley, malt, and hops.

But let us try! Let’s have a go!
Let’s let our memories wander!
For praising Judíth’s virtues
will make our hearts grow fonder.

Step by step and bus by bus,
she gets to where she’s going.
To the Dojo and back—without complaint—
in sun…in dark…while snowing.

And years ago, she trained as Tai –
strong, brave, and never timid.
She learned with the youth and fit right in
despite being above the age limit.

From those green years up through today
she’s served well in between:
from Primary Course translator to group coordinator
to our Dojo’s yobunken** queen.

Through all her roles, she’s done so much,
but one thing’s of chief import:
Surpassing coffee and coca beans,
she’s our #1 Colombian export.

* innermost attitudes
** chargeperson for publications, et. al