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.