After the very sudden death of my step dad, I’d spent a great deal of time worrying and wondering about whether my mother would ever truly recover from this blow. Death to the living, is a responsibility for it is our task to hold on to the memories of those fallen away.
The Poui trees around the Savannah were all in bloom just two weeks before and around the time that Van had past away, they all stopped blooming. It seemed, to me, that all at once, all the beauty had been taken out of our lives. But the memories were still beautiful and I had to believe that they also resonated with a quiet promise, that neither joy was lost forever. That in time, like the seasons of a blossoming tree, joy would return to all our lives.
I wrote this poem, feeling hopeful that darkness doesn’t last; that the colour of life always wins out and that it’s up to us to hang in there and ride out the bad stuff, until life begins to bloom again.
I see the trees swell with colour,
bursting at the branches.
All at once, once is all
you get in a year!
Wind wrestling tiny pieces of pink free from branches,
up and up and down and then up again, in my bedroom window,
settle on my car seat… how sweet,
to pluck a pretty petal from your hair
and realize – who-knows-how-long-it-must-have-been-there.
And like the wind had picked them up,
she let them down
and one by one
pink petals settle to the ground,
begin to brown.
Greedy to save some memory of happy,
you scour the branches of the shedding tree.
But like all lovers who have changed reason
life won’t sing with that flurry of colour ‘til next Poui season.
And this is how we live our lives,
riding out the between tides,
following the quiet stream,
carrying with us, this sweet Poui dream.
And sometimes, like once in a really blue moon,
you might find that one Poui that all year round will bloom.
How lucky the one must be,
to live under the boughs of a perpetually blooming
By: Poui Season