I used to have a red button
pinned to my purse proclaiming,
Don’t Be Afraid of Dying
Be Afraid of Not Living
I bought it while playing around in Boston
and promptly lost it
on my flight back to Michigan.
To be found a few minutes later
stuck between the airline seats.
Damned thing had a habit
of unlatching itself from me,
and trying to go on its own adventures,
only to usually end up on the floor of my car.
Then one day
when I was out hiking on my own
in the forests of northern Michigan
I sat to take a rest,
put my bag on a stump
and saw that my button was missing.
I continued my hike
and on the way back kept glancing to the ground
in hopes of spotting my wayward pin.
Back at my car I searched
around, under, and in,
never finding my little escape artist.
Driving back to my home base that evening,
I couldn’t help smiling to myself.
My little companion went out
following its own advice.
I hope some kid,
who was maybe dragged out to the trails
finds it and takes its words to heart
and vows to keep exploring, learning, and playing
until their last days.
That’s what I’ll be doing.