Work day sweat, aggravation
and at last exultation
when you planted me here by this fence
in the corner shade to be your green marker
bedded in shelter where for a decade I spread myself
over the buried survey stone and waited
to grow a pistil and you become a bee.
Yellow leaves drifted down my stalk,
frolicked in dirt to wither and compost.
When I stretched my topmost fans above the dog ears
I opened myself alive to heat, sun and moon.
Through thick broad blades I see summer,
the time I dry crisp and brown, and in that season
I am aralia and must hide because I am not fir,
or birch or even red bud, because I know
small life grows at my feet
in the damp dark earth beneath me.