This birthday once meant retirement. The end.

Now, I’m told it’s just a number.

But that greeting card message didn’t reach

my eyes, knees and heart. They feel

like my brain – tired, nostalgic, inexplicably crying.


The Milky Way

I look for a red giant tonight.

A star late in its stellar evolution.

In a cloud that’s not a cloud.

How old we are. How we want

a supernova ending. How difficult is dying.

What the tree leaves behind

after many autumns, winters and final fall

is rings – a dendrochronology of  historical context,

environmental conditions, and possible future issues.

Earlywood,  latewood, drought year, wet year, diseases –

no soul, but a body outliving life.


tree rings