Proclaim WARRIOR status.

Pluck the dead tiger lilies. The goldfish orange ones, crumpled, and still wet with death.

Press down hard when you sign the legal documents. No, we’re sorry. No e-sign–and extra postage will be required.

Note: you will need the originals certified by a licensed notary. Please bring five forms of picture ID.  [See Appendix J for list of acceptable, unexpired proofs of identity.]

Count the days until winter with as much bravado as possible. Well, someone like you.

Winterize your favorite bench now as you will miss living in the garden.

Bench more weights for upper-body strength. Yes, you are deteriorating. [Don’t whine.]

Pay attention to the noises and sighs of the dog that was debarked before he ran away and somehow found you.

Talk to the chipmunk who lives in your living-room garage. Tell it to be very wary of the beautiful, apricot fox sighted with a gyrating squirrel in its mouth as it trotted through the width of the property.

Outfox your demons that conspire against you while you are hardly sleeping.

Demonize your fears that gather at your footfall when you stand.

Light the paper lanterns at dusk with the proper batteries. [Return the LED strings of lights that do not work.]

Dust your work station. Carefully clean out the food crumbs in the keyboard and the cat vomit.

Partition individual strains of your disease and their ancillary crescendo-ing.

Hold your arms out like a massive hawk. For at least sixty solid seconds.

[Don’t second guess any scavenged plenitude.]

Locate your favorite pen, the remote control, the sole key to the joint safety deposit box, your only non-broken pair of sunglasses, the prescription bottle to see if there is a refill, the contact name for the removal of private things.

Rearrange the unhappy flowers. Pluck the weak ones and replace with cascading tiny petunia bells [peacock color, and that of coral].

Free the root-bound ones, the chartreuse veins that crowd out the planter. Add nutrients to your own dirt.

Speak vociferously to the looming villages of dragons. Single each out for a good talking to—if your armor does fail.

Mix more blue paint with the green, add white, and then yellow. Then, paint everything orange.








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