Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Tree of Memory

I have been blessed by repeated visits from the Muse of late, bringing a new wealth of childhood memories. One result is this poem, also inspired by my immersing myself in the work of Charles Wright, in my opinion America's greatest living poet, whose wonderful recent reading at the Folger I was fortunate enough to attend, along with my lovely friend Naomi.


"I remember the way the mimosa tree buttered the shade
Outside the basement bedroom, soaked in its yellow bristles."—Charles Wright

I too remember mimosas
two of them in my grandparents’
yard the pink bottle-brush
blossoms helicoptering down
the almost-not-there scent
trailing and how I had to sweep
them off the driveway
or scrape them when
the rain glued them down
to the concrete
how hateful the labor
and how much would
I give to do it again
now as my grandfather
finishes mowing the lawn
after dinner and starts
the sprinklers and we go
inside for one last iced tea
cicadas burring the
evening air.

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Anonymous splendidgibberish said...

...how i long to hear my grandfather's voice, to put my little hand in his old weathered one'

"It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time."
Barbara Kingsolver

4:20 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Indeed! Thanks for the comment.

8:26 PM  

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