Before We Say Goodbye

Before We Say Goodbye

Suddenly the cherry blossoms burst
above the gravel parking lot
at the beef restaurant across the street.
Hundreds of tiny flowers delivered overnight.

They cling together, shaking like pompoms at a halftime show
or miniature wedding bouquets held tightly in the hands of nervous brides.

They stand out against the cobalt sky
like the snowy “up hair” of the halmoni who sits next to
my four-year-old daughter on the subway
and holds her hand.

In awe we look up through the barrier of our
phone screens, shifting on small rocks, adjusting to
capture the best angle of the trees.
Knowing soon
the petals will fall and stick
to the ground like used confetti.

We are spectators and participants
conscious of our short-lived, ordinary lives:

a magnetic display
even if they tower over gravel,
a miracle
even as they fall to the ground.

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