Schooled under the same sign
Arduus ad solem –
your Latin better than mine –
we thought it too solemn
a motto, wanted
a less arduous way.

‘And good company’, I said.

‘Ad. . . what shall we say. . .

Futura. . . what do we want?’

‘Love, luck, and a sweet life.’

‘Ad dulcissima?’

Remember how, with a knife,
we then tattooed the tree
letter by tree. You
began. I changed the C –
giving Fortuna her cue –
to a passionate K.

Say you remember. When I
went back, on an autumn day
half a life later, our sky
had shrunk, our tree had grown –
and ‘Ad dulkissima?’
Invisible. Ingrown,
as the growth-ring that summer
under the skin of the tree?
Ingrown, as our motto in me?

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