In search of cherry blossoms (memorial edition)

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(This post was originally published April 19, 2014. I’m reposting it as a memorial to my mom, who passed away on August 21, 2019. My sister and I were honored to be at her bedside as she made her transition. It was a beautiful moment that I will never forget, as is this moment in time among the cherry blossoms.)

This spring has been a little chilly for us in New Jersey so our famed cherry blossoms still haven’t reached their peak bloom. But I visited Branch Brook Park in Newark anyway this morning after helping my mother run some errands. Branch Brook has the largest collection of cherry blossom trees in the U. S. but today in some spots, the display was a bit anemic …

IMG_1057IMG_1019Some trees, though not in full bloom, were lovely nonetheless …

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IMG_1096IMG_1022Yep, that’s my mom. She’s 87, which gives me a little hope for longevity.

Of course I had to throw in some random selfies …

IMG_1034My mom learned the word “selfie” while watching the recent Academy Awards, so she was happy to take some with me …

IMG_1043By the way, I just love the type of people who kindly offer to take pictures of you with your own camera. (Why do they do that, I can never be so bothered. Shame on me.)

IMG_1094Some out-of-townies asked us directions to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which was further than walking distance from where we were in the huge park at the time. I had to pass it on the way to driving my mom home, though, so I stopped to get a few shots for this post. It’s the fifth largest cathedral in the U.S.IMG_1112IMG_1105

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All photos by A. D. Joyce.

©A. D. Joyce, 2014

proof of concept

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i wanted to believe the concept
to know that the mirror of air
reflected something back
that the hope of becoming a life
would not be miscarried or aborted
that in the end
i in the nursing home
would not wonder
why i am there sitting
on a worn brown chair

i needed the proof
that fits and starts
could become conclusions
i needed the numbers
the operands
the equation
the four parts equally divided in two
if a then b
and if b
then all things are possible

i had to know
i had to know
i had to know
and you showed me

©A. D. Joyce, 2019

shoures soote

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there was once a time we elite
knew what that meant
and I once believed i was that.
probably the last of my generation
even so
was it ever the way i remember it

i forget the color of your eyes
downcast as they are
caught in the glare of your cell phone screen
your conversation is an enigma
of iconery and shorthand
your voice the chime of bells
and musical phases
never songs

i soften the hard ground
with my faulty memory
the smell of dirt
the butterflies the bees
where are they now

I thought i saw you yesterday
a college student
but how could that be
you must be as old as i am now

©A. D. Joyce, 2019

the life

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when the story ends
all the highlights told
life still goes on
the everydays
the good and the bad
repeat repeat
shadows grow longer
love grows deeper
or maybe love fades
happy ever after
sad thereafter
sometimes one
sometimes the other
when the story is written
on the pages
the life is left
to the imagination

©A. D. Joyce, 2018