A paved footpath leading to a tall tree with low-hanging branches and thick green needles.

Dark still riding the cemetery road—
duplicate mornings promising duplicate
days—past rows of cedar trees bowed
down to stay from seasons of frozen weight
so that to see them you would think they grieve.
A depressing ritual with the same
gray strangers, riding this bus as it heaves
us towards our jobs, but as first light frames
the windshield, our school girl climbs on again.
We’ve watched her grow, her smile, hallowed, gold.
She is always the first soft drops of rain
and lifts us up, our incandescent jewel—
opens something in me that’s been folded
and folded like a secret note in school.

Photo used and adapted under CC.