here’s your present,
I told you
and I held your hand as we walked out
into the desert
and stood there
feeling our skin blaze,
fires at our fingertips
and then I led you into the woods
and we walked barefoot
over forgotten stones
and heard muffled loudness
the way they rearranged themselves
underneath our heels
and then I took you to the sea
when the rain had filled it with its anger
and the grey skies threatened to tear us apart
and we stood there,
all this savage beauty
and were grateful that we were allowed to walk away.
and then we went to a cemetery
and listened to the birds still calling to their young
above the cold stones of people who once were.
happy birthday, I told you
here are your gifts of love, adoration, fear, and grief.
may these moments have me in them,
may they never be brief.