Darby and Joan
In my last will and testament, unwritten, whispered to women with wit and charm in late autumn evenings, I explain that when I die, if die I must, I want to be buried in a forest, with an acorn in my mouth, so that all of me might become not wormfood but treefood, that my matter might mingle with treematter, that life will go to life, and that that tree, that oak, should be protected by a conservation easement such that it shall never be cut down, but, should it one day die of natural causes, be given to my descendants–should I have any–so that they can make fine oaken furniture out-of-it–a chair, a chest, a wardrobe.
I have been inhabiting this body for near on 13,000 days. I have loved a handful of women, but today, I am alone. My parents, married as children, nearly forty years ago, smile-wide with the joy of my sister’s children–
And I suppose, I think, that while it would be sweet and beautiful to die and become a tree, there is room in that one-day clearing for two, and to be one of two trees, oak and linden, limbs entwined, sleeping softly, gentled covered, side-by-side, always the same–Jack and Jill, Darby and Joan, the folks on the hill–