Friday, January 1, 2010

In memory of Rachel Wetzsteon

From the Times obituary:

Ms. Wetzsteon’s work was often rooted in her Morningside Heights neighborhood. In the title poem of “Sakura Park,” here in its entirety, she wrote of the small park near Riverside Church, known for its cherry trees:

The park admits the wind,
the petals lift and scatter
like versions of myself I was on the verge
of becoming; and ten years on
and ten blocks down I still can’t tell
whether this dispersal resembles
a fist unclenching or waving goodbye.
But the petals scatter faster,
seeking the rose, the cigarette vendor,
and at least I’ve got by pumping heart
some rules of conduct: refuse to choose
between turning pages and turning heads
though the stubborn dine alone. Get over
“getting over”: dark clouds don’t fade
but drift with ever deeper colors.
Give up on rooted happiness
(the stolid trees on fire!) and sweet reprieve
(a poor park but my own) will follow.
There is still a chance the empty gazebo
will draw crowds from the greater world.
And meanwhile, meanwhile’s far from nothing:
the humming moment, the rustle of cherry trees.


Mim said...

O, gorgeous, sensitive, sadder because of her death.

Elisabeth said...

This is such beautiful poetry and as Mim suggests, so sad in face of her death, her words so prescient.

apprentice said...

I love the last two line "meanwhile meanwhile's far from nothing" sums up so many lives.

Happy New Year, seems you saw it in in some style....