Her name is June, though she’s willow
as spring. I am coast live oak in the fall.
She is a dimple in milk-glass skin. I am
skin corrugated like bark.
We sail a butterfly kite at the beach; when
she cartwheels, her hair anoints the sand.
I pace myself and search for its offerings—
bi-valve shells with both halves attached.
She discovered the supple arch in her
back and admires it with her hands on her
hips. I’ve made peace with the veins on my
hands—maps of the cyan hills I’ve climbed.
We both double over at silly jokes, until
she stops, “Grandma—seriously?!”
and I try to hide that I question my mind
often, and maybe too seriously.
At the zoo she gambols, a capuchin
monkey, climbing on every railing she finds.
I see myself in the melancholy eyes of
an elder orangutan.
Her heart is a lily ready to bloom. Mine is
a garden of children and dogs, family and
friends, some in the ground.
I wish she had known me when
I was five, too.