by Johanne Pulker

After telling Juniper that as you grow older, you shrink,
but very slowly, she came to me every couple of days,
looking into my eyes, in the way young children can.
She’d say, “You’re shrinking,
but very slowly,” and move her finger along her arm
as slowly as she could, saying, “this slow.”

My sister and I look downhill to the pond.
We hear the birds, then the wind.
Sometimes an airplane passes overhead.
At the crest of the hill, the empty gazebo
silently reigns
over all.

In my mind’s ear, Livia has gone for her early morning run
down the all terrain vehicle trail.
A table saw whines in the workshop.
There’s dancing in the barn,
a bonfire by the pond,
and the sauna is heating up.

But now, the field stone foundation of the barn
reminds me, and the oak growing alone on the hill
informs me of the pace of things.

I must remember to bring Juniper here one day,
to watch this oak tree grow, while I shrink,
to watch the progress of things.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 2