By Rachel Wetzsteon
The park admits the wind,
the petals lift and scatter
like versions of myself I was on the verge
of becoming; and ten years on
and ten blocks down I still can’t tell
whether this dispersal resembles
a fist unclenching or waving goodbye.
But the petals scatter faster,
seeking the rose, the cigarette vendor,
and at least I’ve got by pumping heart
some rules of conduct: refuse to choose
between turning pages and turning heads
though the stubborn dine alone. Get over
"getting over": dark clouds don’t fade
but drift with ever deeper colors.
Give up on rooted happiness
(the stolid trees on fire!) and sweet reprieve
(a poor park but my own) will follow.
There is still a chance the empty gazebo
will draw crowds from the greater world.
And meanwhile, meanwhile’s far from nothing:
the humming moment, the rustle of cherry trees.
We spent a very lovely Sunday with Paul's parents, who arrived while Adam was still working at Hebrew school and came with us to pick him up from his high school where he was helping break down the sets from the weekend's show. We went to Minerva in Gaithersburg for lunch and saw about half of the Kareena Kapoor movie Jab We Met, which I now need to track down on DVD so I can see the rest! Then we drove downtown in surprisingly light traffic to see the cherry blossoms, which are predicted to peak tomorrow although the Sakura Festival doesn't officially start till next weekend. We found parking behind the Smithsonian and walked around the Tidal Basin, which like the roads were much less crowded than we expected. We saw cormorants, coots, geese, ducks, and many bees:
We drove home at dinnertime, though we were still too full from lunch to eat a proper dinner, so we had Paul's birthday cake a week early with his parents since we can't get together with them on his actual birthday. They also brought us chocolate covered pretzels and caramel corn from the Utz factory. When they left to go back to Hanover, we snacked a bit and watched Harry's Law (TERRIBLE decision on the disabled girl expelled from school for making faces she couldn't control) and two great episodes of Deep Space Nine, "In Purgatory's Shadow" and "By Inferno's Light." Now Adam is finishing homework, Daniel is catching up on Reddit, and the rest of us are contemplating sleep.