Exiled once, allowed back in

to guide you through,

I didn't know my time was up.

But by the river, in snapping grass,

still in the habit of noticing,

crouching with you at a leaf or wing,

I spotted caterpillar frass

speckling milkweed as he feasted,

getting ready to split, released

from a too tight self. In just a week

he'd grow a better, brasher skin.

Exiled once, allowed back in,

I leaned down in the snapping grass,

but stopped at the thud of your new voice:

Come on. Big deal. So what.