The Mentor

(for Dushanthie)


When I think back to when first we met

There were no expectations of each other yet;

Your smile and presence quickly set the stage

For trust and respect, despite the difference in age.


Your eagerness to learn was like a breath of fresh air

A search for a destiny, and yet you didn’t know where.

You willingly listened, even when only curiosity-driven

And absorbed like a sponge all the feedback I’d given.


But as we moved beyond the early teaching phase,

Your positive spirit brought new light to my days.

I was struck by your focus, yet you always found “D”time

And it opened my eyes on the priorities in my prime.


We moved to a friendship…including hiking for miles

You showed me more about you… than any Personnel files.

You shared your thoughts, and lent me your ear;

We formed a bond that will last beyond our years.


And when we transgressed beyond the mentoring scope

It was your heart and soul with which I most had to cope.

For like your friends and your family who see it each day

When the mentoring was over, the new light went away.


So from this little rhyme I hope that you will find

Some personal satisfaction and relaxing peace of mind

In knowing those you’ve touched are truly in your debt

By teaching the value that Caring can set.


And in knowing there’s a word for such a woman of grace

Who captivates hearts with her smile and warm embrace.

It’s a French formal greeting known as: “L’Enchantée’”

This is the memory that I will keep of Dushanthie.




Duane Leffel

The “Mentor” (and ‘Mentee’)