It came in waves, really.

First in thin patches, barely visible;

then in thicker clumps:

whiter, and clumsier in flight.

That Sunday morning the cottonwoods

shed their virility in a single burst.

With one last push their mounting seed

set sail through the neighborhood

catching on doorposts, window sills and curbsides,

collecting on uncut lawns and churchgoers' hairdos.


I remembered a scene from my childhood

where I had seen this, felt this way.

I had doubted the memory before

(like everything too carefully put away):

thought it too dreamlike, too vivid.

I saw now that it was.


The next Sunday, Memorial Day,

a steady, steamy rain

poured for hours on end.

It dragged the cottonwood

down the sides of buildings

through pavement rills and runnels

into frothing, gurgling drains.

The streets were cleansed.




M.  Memorial Day