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.
Cheryl and I had vague plans to see Batman v. Superman together, but the weather was so gorgeous on Monday that Paul decided to take the afternoon off and we went back downtown to see the cherry blossoms under blue skies. It was much less crowded than Easter Sunday and the water levels were very high from the rain the night before, which also apparently signaled the trees to start losing their blossoms, because although the flowers were still very thick, there were also petals blowing everywhere! We saw birds and squirrels and a guy fishing, then throwing the bass back into the water. Security seemed high, with several military helicopters circling the Tidal Basin, and we must have returned to our car at L'Enfant Plaza at the perfect moment because a shooting at the Capitol caused the shutdown of many government buildings.
We ate lunch at a picnic table near the one we'd eaten at the day before, came home to feed the cats, then went to the mall where Eye in the Sky won our vote for movie we actually really wanted to see. It is excellent and devastating, not just because it's Alan Rickman's last live performance (Colin Firth produced). I'd had the impression that the film was about a military team trying to decide whether to carry out a drone strike without being sure that there were terrorists in the building, but it's actually much worse than that, and the performances (Rickman, Mirren, Abdi, dozens of others) are exceptional. I can't speak to the military realism of the details but it's very upsetting. Afterward we went to the new Korean BBOPQ in the mall eatery for dinner and had Cold Stone Batman ice cream for dessert. I liked the Flash-Supergirl crossover but Blindspot is not making total sense.