To the Forgotten Lady

Every year,

at about this time—

when Spring has sprung,

and April, come indeed she has,

when the Easter eggs are empty,

and the garish garden lanes

are settling down for Summer—

every year

it happens that

I beg forgiveness of a tree.

.

It usually happens

on a Saturday

in the morning,

leaving the hardware store

under sunny blue skies

or opening a camp chair

along the third base line.

.

This ritual of my repentance

is prompted by

a discreet “Ahem”

from my periphery.

“Ahem,” she signals—

modestly,

chaste and unassuming—

or, “Pardon me,”

bashful,

courteous,

and demure.

.

Then—

at that moment,

and in that instant—

enraptured by her glorious appearance,

before the beauty of her blushing boughs,

I remember

what it is

that I had forgotten.

I realize again my recurrent transgression,

and I confess my annual treason

to the forgotten lady,

to the Crabapple.

.

I had,

unknowingly—

silently and subtly—

started to refer to Spring

in the past tense,

as if it were

coronated,

culminated,

complete.

.

I had,

unwittingly—

incorrigibly and ignorantly—

acted satisfied with Spring,

“sufficiently suffonsified,”

and satiated with the season.

I had,

as it were,

imagined my soul’s storehouse

filled to capacity—

incapable of

anymore awe.

.

Every year,

about this time,

my heart aches

to think that I had forgotten

the Crabapple.

Every year,

at this very time,

I repent,

I reform,

and I spend the balance of my days

in the resplendent glory

of her blossoms.

April 19, 2020

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