Cherry Blossoms

by Toi Derricotte

I went down to

mingle my breath

with the breath

of the cherry blossoms.

There were photographers:

Mothers arranging their

children against

gnarled old trees;

a couple, hugging,

asks a passerby

to snap them

like that,

so that their love

will always be caught

between two friendships:

ours & the friendship

of the cherry trees.

Oh Cherry,

why can’t my poems

be as beautiful?

A young woman in a fur-trimmed

coat sets a card table

with linens, candles,

a picnic basket & wine.

A father tips

a boy’s wheelchair back

so he can gaze

up at a branched


All around us

the blossoms

flurry down


Be patient

you have an ancient beauty.

Be patient,

you have an ancient beauty.

From The Undertaker’s Daughter, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011, pages 78–79.