Dogwood Blossoms Lighting a Leafless Dim

William Olsen

Off the freeway, if they even appear

if these least realizations

if they stay clear of each other, if cars do too

it isn’t the same

if a sunless sky seems ill lit to us, for them it isn’t

if they seem paused to us, it is not out of mourning

preceding leaf, they seem to look

right through their native tree

they will never ease further outside themselves

than they do now

in their sparse sprays there’s more gap than blossom

off-the-freeway gets in the way of nothing

they do not wish to be taken outside themselves

to open

and why on earth would they need to anticipate death

if on their first day they appear to have been ghosted

if we who last far longer

breeze by

if we can’t turn back

if we never know where to stop

they know exactly where

there would seem to be no gain in going any farther


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