Walking across the high desert

On my way to see Ben,

The rolling sage-green landscape

Lays out its floor for Ben’s

Roots to wiggle under.

His limbs reach wildly

Into the deep blue sky.

He dances.

Sun, flooding his being,

Sparkling his sap,

Seeping between every needle,

Into his sticky cones, and

Over his rough parallelogram-patterned bark.

I caress his needles.

“Hello,” I say, though I have called out

To him 100 yards earlier.

I tell him I’ve missed him

And wonder about his yellow needles

Thinking that he is, like I am,

Getting old

After standing against the

Fierce South Park winds for

Years, more years than I.

Will Ben teach me about dying?