Today, the atmosphere is thin
The birds and squirrels are quiet in the trees
The sky, dense and preoccupied, hurries across the land

A slow, old grief is vibrating up through the soil
Through the bones in my legs
And it fills up the shallow basin of my heart
So that nothing else may be held in it

An ungrateful child come to a too-late appreciation
Of this woman's storied and weary life
I go and sit under the old spruce that raised me

I press a hand to her weathered trunk
And wait silently at her bedside
Neither of us having anything to say

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