Lanthanum 3.9


A beautiful Memorial Day. In the shade
of the old patio, the root-beer scent
of spindly purple irises, a lure
meant for butterfly, or little girl. And cradled

in the wayward garden, a light breeze. Light.
Let memory go wayward too (that monarch
wavering to Mexico). I remember the dark
gray granite of the Middle Ages, the white

dust of a road into Wyoming heights.
I remember leaping for joy alone on a highway
in Vermont. I remember the battle of Monterey,
near the pine mountain where the monarch lights.

And the vanishing point where memories go.
Your furtive history, elusive Psyche-
soul. Limestone and river, slant lichen-
covered slab – epitaph for one veteran shadow

felled abruptly in the midst of an engagement
(labor-pangs). Where the little flags quiver
like would-be monarch-wings; mosquitoes hover
by compliant willows (mourning weeds). Bent

over his shovel, blackened by sun, invisible
as the lattice of a chain-link fence, the gardener
(or gravedigger), unnoticed, shoots a tender
glance, unseen, toward disconsolate Psyche-soul –

all the memoirs of Memorial Day are mingled there.
Where cypresses curvet toward a single point
on high, above the trembling soil, expectant – as
that groundskeeper extrapolates the angle (into air).