They snuck up on her
like hair no longer dark brown
or those fine lines that gathered
around her eyes when she laughed

After the last surgery she wandered
the house and seemed to see
with others’ eyes noticing
for the first time in all those years

her quirks, how some might even
call them eccentricities those
friends she’d amassed from
other wanderings through more

hospitable places woods and shores
beaver teeth, mandible from coyote
butterflies impaled on a hot car grille
feathers from afield empty snail shells

Around her now the perfect plastron
and carapace of a box turtle resting
beside white oak acorn, three feathers
from barred owls she loves so

Perhaps they’ll be pushed into the bin
at her passing but for now she considers
them talismans to take along for the journey
thumbs the smooth rock in her pocket.