by Iris Arenson-Fuller
Everything comes back
in one way or another.
It might boomerang, smacking us
in the ass when we stand outside
watching kamikaze birds
hit the kitchen window
with the blue tulip designs.
It might be taunting thoughts
that revisit in the night,
thick like caramel topping,
making our minds too sticky to sleep.
Yesterday was no different.
one red poppy showed a shy face
in front of the white house.
soon more will stretch themselves awake
to join their lone sunbathing friend.
they remind me of the poppy reserve in Lancaster
where we took my sister for a ride.
she sat in the car, almost shriveling up
before our unbelieving eyes
while the fields of endless poppies
waved to us in the feeble desert breeze.
Years ago our yard poppies disappeared.
the big maple cut off their lifeline,
banished the sun that made it worth growing.
but the maple was cut down, sick with age.
all living things complete their life cycle
departing to an unknown space,
suspended in our memories like a hammock
swinging back and forth between what lulls us
so softly into pleasurable sleep,
and what jolts us wide awake,
making dreams come to life, making limbs shake.
My poppies will flourish
when I am airborne like dandelion seeds,
when thoughts of me may make it hard
for you to open curtains and let in fresh air.
poppies have their own reasons,
their own dna, unstoppable by my tears.
they do not mark rows of graves.
only I mark them now, counting silently;
Those same larks that flew over war-dead
form sky patterns now, singing this time
to drown out sorrows, not guns,
to remind us to look up and wait
for a new dawn.