The Gift

flowersThe room is quiet, but it is not silent. I can hear
the thoughts of Mr. Green and his wife who stares,
eyes focused on the flowers in the center of the room,
and those of the three sisters bursting with old memories that bloom,
sitting on the wooden bench in front of me. I hear their words
buzzing in the air, dipping between the rafters like wild birds.

One woman stands and coughs low in her throat;
her presence, now grounded, still allows her thoughts to float.
She has been planting cherry trees, she says softly, in a lot
across from her house. Wringing her hands, she mentions the rot;
she says cherry trees are an invasive breed and this strain
killed all of the others that the land had once sustained.

Her out-loud thoughts mix with the inside thoughts that are still
humming, never cease humming, hang over all of our heads, spill
over the wooden benches and the flowers that Mrs. Green
won’t stop staring at that sit on the table and remind me of spring.

I tell myself to think about not thinking
as the woman becomes an inside thinker once again.
I grab my thoughts; I hold them,
I recognize their presence, I do not welcome them.
I tell them they can not stay—not right now. Then,
I let them go.

I let my thoughts buzz with the thoughts of the Greens
and the sisters and the woman with the killing trees.
I let them float high above my head and let my mind be

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