Driving along the ridge –
Bright sun in a cold sky-
The bar ditch is filled with the first blush of spring,
Effervescent purple henbit covers the ground-
Weeds of childrens delight,
First bouquets of the season.
When my nieces were babes,
These weeds were their favorite flower until their father
Mowed the yard,
Decimating their wild flower garden and bringing bereft tears.
Did my grandfather tell me the tale of why we call the ditches
Along the roadside ‘bar ditches’-
The dirt was borrowed ‘bar-red’
To raise the road, flattened for the wagons then model Ts
To travel above the fields.
Is that even true?
Memory sometimes obscures the truth.
I remember that my father died on Palm Sunday,
Though it is not the truth.
But that is the memory I preserve in my life’s mythology.
And it is Palm Sunday once again-
Not the date of his leave taking
But still the day I grieve.
And it is the first day of spring-
The day I remember my nieces’ grief
Over the heaped green weeds across their yard.
On this day, memory, unreliable and exact,
Borrows the joy before the grief…
Its the first of spring and all the birds sing
And little children palm frond process
Waving welcome the King into Jerusalem.
I so enjoyed this poem, so full of memory and conjecture……….that is fascinating about the “bar-red” soil, under the wheels of covered wagons and then Model T’s……..We have borrowed a lot more since then. More than we can repay.