Great aunt loved Valentino
She wanted to die
when he died
wept for days
with her scrapbook of memorabilia
cradled in her arms
and swore to be true forever.
Wind twists and turns paper cranes
pink, red and orange, strung together
social activists, carrying children
scattered under the park shelter
gathering of the concerned
those who lived through WW ll
along with dread haired youth
still fighting the old fights.
The growl of cold air before sunrise says to pull
buttons quick to button holes. Layers of thick wool,
our wives dress us right, fill our stomachs full
of hot grain, cooked slow as on those early school
mornings when we were young. My brother’s bowl
will empty first, refill twice. The women lull
our boy-calves to sleep, then wave us bulls
to distant forests for two days to cut wood.
An olive hard and dark, hiding
on a gnarled bough, knows about flow.
The bark, with memory long before
Gethsemane, sings unguent tales.
Branches conduct with their lance-
shaped leaves. White flowers bloom
as they listen.