Now, when cherry and apple boughs begin to swing weighted double and triple with blossom like hard-arced deep-sea lines pulling marlin and swordfish and blind leviathan up hungry from oblivion by mouth and hook, O mothering, all-consuming sea, I enter the wide grove to pace awhile and speak my piece. Now, when orchard air betrays no too-rich scent of ripening death, too-ripe life--no loaded orbs hang glistening all the harvest-moon midnight as when I sang easy between the bee-busy trees, too alive to sleep those onward autumns through-- now I remember and honor the hours the days my Mom's proud ghost walked and prayed. Now, Mom, when of we two only one may play a speaking part, I seek you out in Spring among these oft-deserted aisles of souls whose sails flag plainly on the wept sea of massy grasses not yet scotched and cut, unevenly alive, each green blade its own green height at Holmdel Cemetery. Now I in the prompt of warmth walk an evening vigil I cannot choose but chase so many mourning hours beyond departure.-- Still you stand at the kitchen counter, peeling glad apples, small russets, pears, lambent carrots, all picked by your brazen squad of boys in the sun, washing each, rolling each in careful hands until their inner shine shows showered in the sink-rinse, all laid white on the cutting board or minced into copper-bottomed vats for quibbling soups. How many and intricate the apple-hours we tolled! Your hair its own silver feast of blossom-curls damp in the happy chatter of meal prep where boiling things poured pellucid, spouting through colanders I held unably at any angle, standing at your elbow, low, listening to water fillip and drip, tipping the big yellow bowl, your sharp wit apt as the paring knife dancing against your thumb. I never knew you, the dark-haired darling who danced in your father's Welsh eyes. I knew you alarmed and laboring lion-hearted in a hospital bed, small hands at the chained triangle to leverage and lift yourself to some easier breath that didn't come. But I knew you best, and know you still, in a wordless kaleidoscope of worlds where each small turn changes all, the pattern resplendently renewed by light, the pattern of broken chips and needy details, rainbows sawed to pebbles--as when light through leaves entertains and blinds, so I see you, Mom: a hand, a heart, an eye alight. And so I walk, myself shelving shore without ship or mystery, swept haphazard among coral shoals of memory, tunelessly whistling in the ruminative night, tapping a foreign California apple in my pocket as I count out time to no song I know, hum no uplifting lyric to the unnameable tune, alone at your elbow, just we two, and the April moon standing mute.