Hanami of Loneliness

I watch the squirrels plumped with our sunflower seeds for more than a quarter century in the cherry tree and its blossoms I planted to block the neighbor’s view. Even the dogs doze through the squirrels tracking our old fence tops and the boughs of a fifty-year-old pine tree I didn’t plant that each year keeps stretching through repeated air . Three squirrels dangle this morning from the crooked cherry tree I pruned wrong too many years ago to right or maybe underfed or maybe rooted too deep in manure-burn. Sometimes I want to take the pencil stub I write the grocery list with from the kitchen drawer and crosshatch the backs of bills and returned envelopes into something I’ll never see: 

cherry blossoms
floating down strange
rivers, pink dawns when I
cannot
sleep for counting the dead
and birds, swallows I think,
tipped by expressive
lines, by a haze of moon, by
white volcanoes
delicate and touching.

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