Your Last Life

You were a mouse in your last life
we always said,
with your cot dreams of
running in wheat fields.
A meadow mouse
speared by fear,
shaken by the rumble of the harvester,
the wave of the scarecrow,
the hover of the hawk.

You were a small fretful child
not yet ready for what we could offer,
perhaps never having found
the shelter of the hedgerow
or a clump of wild flowers
in which to nestle down and wait
for stillness.

Now your grin is broad,
your desire for hazard unnerving.
You plummet from planes
or bungee from cliff tops.
You dive into waves
that suck and crash and release.

It is I now who is fearful
anxious and quaked by the risks you take.