It was by this cherry tree that we met.
I remember it well: in springtime, scaling
The branches together in a flurry
Of limbs, with constellations of lilac
Blossoms drifting atop the placid brook
Like Roman candles…
In summer, seeing the heavens echoed
In the water’s faint hue and leaving the
Ripening fruit when we saw the maggots
Devouring their mellow pulp from within.
I remember, too, the autumn when the
Blossoms were borne downstream by the seasons,
And ripe fruit gave way to festering
Hordes of gnats. The last of the fruit fermented
Like bad wine, and the inky vinegar
They excreted fell to the earth in a
Pungent cesspool of viscous maroon sludge.
I left the branch to seek the stream below:
Still you perched, a lark upon the tree,
Gazing wistfully from the branches until
One day you swooped into the thicket while
I swam amidst the swirling chorus of currents.
I remember it well.