For James, on your 50th birthday

You aren't much for words or celebrations.
You prefer actions- everyday manifestations of
whatever this thing called love is.

You're not sure anyway
so why get bogged down 
in the party plans trying 
to figure it out or the
essays of "I love yous" 
people say to each other
like the courtesy, "How do you dos?"

You'll stick with what you know-
getting measurements right
and offering a back rub using
a new self-taught technique.

There are limits and languages
you've yet to conquer,
but I've noticed you've stopped
laboring enough to walk to the fence 
line between the workers and worshipers
to see what all the singing is about.

You've made a place for my garden 
and it's growing.
You've turned your ears to the sound of "I love you"
differently- like Lukas when I pick up his walking leash.

Let's go for a walk for fifty more years, what do you say?
I'll plant a garden and you can eat its fruit.

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