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 solstice came, the days lengthen and
winter blows colder winds, but tree man,
a gentle soul, not a horror legend,
holds on to his brown autumn coat,
guarding the creek, watching me grow old.
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.