Funeral With Cherry Blossoms Falling


April’s softened
the soil—snowmelt,
weeks of rain. Now
the skies are empty
except for a blackbird
diving down, searching
for earthworms among
the green that spread
almost overnight
underfoot. Six feet
of dirt’s deeper
than I’d imagined:
there’s no getting out
again. Everyone’s left
through the cemetery
gates and I’m waiting
with the guy in coveralls
who seems surprised
I’ve stayed. He keeps
his eyes turned down
to the gash he’s made
in the grass, his own
shadow creeping
toward its edge. When it’s time
he looks to me.
I nod and he drops
to a knee, flips
a switch that slowly
lowers the casket down.


The sun summits
another day and starts
to sink. The wind
whips scant branches,
lets loose a shower
of blossoms like
winter’s final flurry.
Everything, it seems,
is falling, everything
following my father
down, the earth
falling into itself.


Stare at water falling
over a cliff’s edge
long enough,
everything else
seems to float up:
rocks hover, trees
break from roots, leave
the nourishing ground
below. It’s only
illusion, only
the eyes playing
a trick on the mind,
but for a moment
you can feel it all—
the very earth itself—

Brian Simoneau's poems have appeared in Blueline, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Fourth River, Poet Lore, Red Rock Review, and Smartish Pace. He and his wife currently live in Boston. (brian_simoneau@yahoo.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761