Daily Archives: April 20, 2016

Our Lady of the Tree of Remembering and Forgetting

Linden blooms are almost invisible,
tiny green dots against those big green leaves.

But then, closer, they brighten, yellow green
ballerinas in frocks of matching tulle.

Their scent travels far away, blocks and blocks,
across highways, roads, over waters.

I trace the sweetness back to beginnings,
and surprise you there in your own back yard

with a tree you didn’t remember, now
already green, already bright with gold.

These things happen. Forget. Then remember
forgetting. Then remember. Then forget

once more. I feel forgetting taking hold.
Memories shiver through sieves, dissolving

a little more with each pass. Memories
tumble in a thick sauce of sappy tears,

sticking together. Where they clump, I can
keep them. Die Linden sind sanft gefallen.

It happens in slow motion. I forget
remembering. First, the stamens drift down,

then the flowers, then the leaves. Gone brittle,
the twigs crack, but the trunk is still solid.

By the time the tree sinks slowly downward,
the swan on the water has taken flight.

All that is left behind is a single
white feather, floating, bobbing beautifully.