—for Julia and Robert
I want to give you a poem with a pond in it,
and if you see a heron glide down,
to fold the blue smocking of her wings,
swishing silence, remember her
when you stand at the edge of things.
There are blueberries to ripen over you,
orioles to weave their pure paired notes of song,
tadpoles to skim and flex their tails
the color of bark and rain.
And if a willow topples into the middle
of the pond, welcome the host
of ants and aphids who’ll tunnel through.
Try to forgive what others might call
fallen, or lost. Turtles will clamber up
from hard winter, bronze on their backs,
to doze in repose beside each other on warm stones.
Be with each other as gentle as that.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 1.