There’s every chance that you’ll outlive me.
Wise old lump with your shadowed shell, years
have taught you to shrink into the understory
of darkness between the dirt and the leaves
as I lift the hydrangea’s bowed branch, searching
for last year’s coneflowers. The sudden sunlight triggers
your alien shyness, and though I mean no danger,
you retreat into the fortress you always carry.
Is that how you live fifty, sixty, maybe a hundred years?
Perhaps you’re right, and risk is overrated.
I return several days later, searching now for you.
But you are long gone, headed for some damp woods,
a slow and steady retreat to some place overlooked,
and I, myself, am tempted by such a shrewd move.
Cover image by Alex Wing.