Sept 8th - Who cares for the lichen?

Some lichen,
earlier this year...

Who cares for the lichen?

Who folds its laundry, warm from the machine?

Who keeps its kitchen clean and spits upon
a cloth to scrub behind its ears?  Who calms
the sorts of fears a lichen feels, insists
the environment is full of rough faced rock
and trees with sensually craggy bark?
Who monitors air quality between
those trees?  Who sees where a Vibram walkers sole
has gashed a divot from the matted growth
and gently smooths it back?  Who stacks dry stones
to form a wall where lichen fragments drifting
in the breeze drop into place?  Who meanders like
a tardigrade between the hyphae, pushing
eight legged from strand to strand?  Who stands to shade
it from high summer sun?  Who splashes dew
on it?  Who carves the hydrogen from water
using sunlight as a blade?  Who captures carbon
from the air and rearanges atoms into rings
of sugar, which leak through cell membranes to feed
their symbiotic partner in the dance?
Who leaches micro nutrients from stone?
Who lives, happily together alone, on any
handy outside surface?

Who cares for the lichen?

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