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
bringing bereft tears.
Did my grandfather tell me the story
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.
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 keep.
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.
***This is a poem written a few years ago and revised thistle year. In it are the memories of my grandfathers and my dad. And, on this Palm Sunday, I also remember my Mom and my brother, Frank, the father that mowed the weeds. I miss them all. So very much.
You answer the question creatively, with your work, “What is the loving response?”
Thanks for sharing,
Thanks, Gary. Hope you are well and feeling ‘Springy’ I appreciate your thoughtful reading and response.