Tag Archives: city trees

le claire [street]

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A clear glimpse
A clear thought
on this clear June night

Of age,
and Alzheimer’s
An old-timer’s disease

A clear memory recorded and archived tonight
An acute awareness of myself
tonight, in time and place
a new track to play on loop for a listener in my future life

a husband, friend, or son
a caregiver, a kind one
a visitor, volunteer, or nurse,
a grandson, or maybe, no one

A reddish dog, eating mulberries
from the sidewalk in shadows
Mottled concrete in the dim light of a city street lamp
obscured by the canopy of that beautiful, June, fruit tree

A woman, middle aged, seems so young, even a tad pretty, in her mind’s eye
Stretching her still strong body upward for plump, dark berries
Reaching for branches trimmed too high by the urban foresters
or arborists or surgeons, I forget what they’re called

On her tippy toes
grabbing, pulling, picking
squeezing the dog’s leash between her thighs
don’t get loose in the dark, don’t get skunked in the dark

Some of the best ones are lost in the awkward tussle
before she can palm them, save them, taste them
She triggers a reverberative rain from boughs on high
That precise, delicate sweetness of the bounty in her mouth

The dog’s belly full of the ripe windfall
sustained by both gravity and woman
His name was Woody, or Digby, I think
He used to climb into our sleep

Smashed and whole
The street, sidewalk and cars stained
by the impressive purple mess
the dark grass hiding perfect treasures for doves tomorrow morn

She and that dog
Always urban foragers and gleaners in June
All month long, her fingertips, heels and lips
tinted with their fuchsia dye, didn’t think to check his paws

A clear, melancholy recollection
This day, that day was also her son’s birthday
The first birthday he spent away from home, Nebraska, or Alaska, I think
That glorious tree, that good dog, that golden boy