I was once the tree you hammered shims into
so you could climb me like a ladder.
And I was the new strawberry, larvae white and hard,
and the bleeding-heart bush dropping valentines over your acreage.
I was the fox on whom you did not pull the trigger, the air trapped
beneath the frozen creek, and the broken milkweed’s white sap.
I did my growing far from you, arrived
late one summer, shirt like a tartan flag.
Come over. I said. Get to know me.
Now I am the bottle-blue boat, lost in the squall of you,
and the wave curling over your head.