Flowering Trees

dual

For National Poetry Month, a poem of mine, which I keep thinking of as all the trees become full with blossoms. It first appeared in Prairie Schooner and then in my book, Morph and Bloom.

Flowering Trees

The magnolias bloomed for a week,
then shed their petals on the lawn.
Two weeks for the redbuds,
then their feisty pinks
on sidewalks and cars.
My boy just learned the names
of these beauties and now they’re gone.
Soon he’ll venture into dirt,
squashing dandelions in his sweaty palms.
Then summer will roar into the yard,
turning the dandelions to dust.
And this morning, driving home
from the park, I saw my childhood
fly out the window: my father gripping
the steering wheel, his fingers
tapping to the music. I lost
the season, the color of his shirt,
the timbre of his voice.
All that remained
was a terrible thumping
in my throat, his love swelling,
then spinning from me.
Sometimes I search for my father
in my boy’s eyes. And when I find him,
I turn away, I scatter, I disperse.

***

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