by W. Luther Jett

White petals drift
across the empty lawn —
sun’s arc bends.

That spring, I became
temporarily blind by choice;
doctors scoured my eyes with
lasers. Earlier I’d traveled
the Sichuan Highlands
during the Redbud Festival, seen
those tendrils of good-luck crimson; 
and how wild rhododendrons 
blanket mountainsides.

But I missed the peak
cherry blossoms in my home city,
then weeks of shadows followed.
“Next year,” I said. “Next year,
“I’ll walk the Tidal Basin while
“the breeze sends petal spirals
“cross the waters.”

And now next year has come
and with it, plague. The paths
beside the river are blocked.
Trees know nothing, save
that it is spring.

In my neighbor’s yard
a sapling blooms —
White petals drift
across the empty lawn —
The March breeze carries
the closing tang of winter. Soon
redbuds will flower.

W. Luther Jett is a native of Montgomery County, Maryland and a retired special educator. His poetry has been published in numerous journals and anthologies. He is the author of two chapbooks: Not Quite: Poems Written in Search of My Father, (Finishing Line Press, 2015), and Our Situation, (Prolific Press, 2018). A third chapbook, Everyone Disappears, is slated for release, Fall 2020, by Finishing Line Press. Stella Bellow is an illustrator currently attending Parsons School of Design in New York City.