Two halves of a fern fossil

Fitting in my palm, opening to a
double image,
obverse and reverse
in carbon-black
on the stone.

A gift from a friend
who was happy to find it
for me; sent with the
"Sixty million years ago,
God said,
'Let's make a little play pretty
for Karla.'"

Ferns of the Paleocene
were huge, and this so
little, so young, barely
out of its fiddlehead.

Reminds me not to feel
sorry for all the early
Frost-withered buds,
Wind-ripped pods of unripe seeds,
Land-mine atomized
teenaged soldiers,

The long, full life is not the
only one of value.
See what can happen?
A young life still lives
tens of thousands of millenia
Still teaches:

I discern that I do not see
obverse and reverse
They are buried in the stone.
What I see is the center.

As the Tai Chi master
flows in the place
between gathering force
and striking,
between empty and full,
between sinking and rising,
Self and Other,

I see that place where we
two meet,
where two make
friends, partners, lovers, enemies.

In that place
without reaching or

Earth and water embrace a leaf.
Air and fuel ignite flame.
Deeply orange fish swim between
where water touches bright air
and rests on dark earth.