Ode to the Tardigrade

In time, the dying will be done:
the in-folding of woods 

and cottony clouds, the melting
of ice, the burning. Slow-

stepper, water bear, you
will outlive us all by winding down

each careful clock in your cells, 
entering the tun-states 

of desiccation and freezing, curled 
like a miniature pod without 

any bones. After we are gone,
you'll survive another billion years,

sun flares and cosmic sandstorms.
You'll suspend your breathing in fields 

of moss and lichen, zip yourself up 
in your plump, translucent parka.

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