to hope, consider, look attentively
which he chose,
which means my hope.
consider the cedar tree,
how it burdens itself
weighed down with cones
filled with seeds
it hopes will grow
wherever they land.
I stand by one of these
ancient trees with loops and arches
deep in the bark and watch
as he photographs
a poppy, his old body bent
toward the small red flower.
sun to his back, he stands
and looks at me attentively
through his camera, asks me
to take off my sunglasses
to look up, to open my eyes.
My lids close in the light
as I try to stare back at his eyes
which are like my own, more green
and blue than brown, framed
always by wire-rimmed glasses
I remember grabbing as a child,
small fingers leaving impressions on the glass.
he wants me to know steadiness,
to feel the permanence in our blood.
he clicks the shutter a dozen times
as I blink, light falling
through the canopy onto the ground
like a thousand lenses reflecting.