Their first time, arm and arm that day; my parents met me in Vienna, and we took the orange line all the way into the capital to glimpse that year’s earliest array of Cherry Blossoms, draped beside the reflective pond; Easter’s first laid eggs.
“It’s just like the cloud of pink when a baby arrives,” Mom looked up with a grin; she would know, having had three pink puffy surprises herself. It’s a girl, every time.
Truthfully, I lured them to the mirrored waters edge to reveal a hard truth. One they wouldn’t want to hear, and so I hoped the beauty of the blooms would soften my speech. I also forced them into the city because I couldn’t understand how they’d lived in the area for fifteen years and never seen the breathtaking beauty of the bloom.
We arrived that April day; Hatsu Hana, early bloomers. Dad directed me to sit down under the bow of a beautiful branch, and he snapped a keepsake, which captures my rosy, nervous cheeks. Their middle child was always an early bloomer. I let my clogs click over the edge, thinking all the time, when will my moment arrive to speak with them openly?
Sure, I’d brought them to this magical place with more to say, but as we passed Martin Luther King Jr’s monument, I saw them smiling, arm-in-arm, thirty years strong in a marriage that still blossomed on an early spring day. A joy that would never peak. So, I couldn’t break the spell to speak of dark bowing limbs of the family tree, and how I’d cut my own branch clean; couldn’t defile their first view of innocent cherry blossoms with talks of my divorce.
“Another photo,” dad framed me under a busy bough, making the blooms into a pink halo; for him, one that would never be there again, but at that moment, I was his pink, puffy second surprise, innocent and blooming in early spring.
Her Hatsu Hana;
solemn surprise left unsaid,
plucked to save the vine.
Frank’s the host for d’Verse’s Haibun Monday. His topic for this week, Cherry Blossoms. Join us!