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.