Mother Taught Me Trees Are Stronger

Somewhere past morning
a praying mantis cleaves her mate
because children require fuel.

What leaves the body is gone,
the worms and flies gone, hatched and flown,
as mushrooms sprout to clutch the loam.

I sow my garden in thick soil,
root sage and lavender. Between me
and the passing dead: a bit of earth.

What roots deepest will come back.
When I was young, I cried
at the felled crack of breaking wood,

the stunted fields of jagged stumps.
We can’t last, but they keep counsel
with futures we will never see.