On the tree outside, there is a bud that has been sleeping all season. Through the rains and the scorching days, past the bloom of daffodils and the fallen maple leaves. The autumn wind gusts in, billowing great folds of ochre and red. She leaves a train of white in her departure and I stand alone, with only the mist of my own breath as company, when the bud blooms. Who do you greet? I think sadly, this delicate blossom that will never meet its sisters or brothers, the bee or butterfly that promises immortality in its offspring. The sun is kind today and melts the snow, until it sits like spring dew upon the flower petals. They wink like secrets on that flower that opens so bravely, and I think a thought so powerful, I must shatter the winter stillness: “Ah, you’ve met me.” And it is such an easy thing, to smile.