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Jefferson Memorial--Cherry Blossom Time

Geometrical symmetries of classical Greek
pillared portico and dome framed
by more ancient asymmetry of a gnarled
Japanese cherry tree,

ancient sorcerer, extending one twisted arm
to cast spells in sprays of pink blossoms:

whose monstrous trunk intrudes from the right
like impending chaos and old night,
as if the canvas were being torn back
from the other frame (the square metal one
where the painted world ends or begins).

On the left, the cherry trees
are better behaved, a tamer hybrid,
smoothed further by distance,

fit retinue for the white marble
memorial to our rough-barked,
raw-boned politician and founding father
made marmorial by the passage of time
as sharp stones are rounded by a stream.

History is time, but you can do it
with space: Dig a big hole, fill it
with water, smear the water
with motley vestiges of everything
it has ever touched (water too choppy
for reflection, except close up,
where, like the latest headlines,
big waves churn up a hullabaloo
of colors),

and look across. Near frames far.
The outermost (innermost?) frame is you--
mirroring the mimicry of farthest background:
empty painted sky.

Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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