An old woman in a purple dress
is outside kneeling on a curved brick
patio. It is 1989, Dresden in the summer
and perhaps I am the only one
aware that the bricks were collected
from the nursery that once stood
where she is kneeling. Dresden was
bombed in 1945. People
collected pieces of the nursery,
to make patios. The hanging
flowerpot outside my window is a helmet
filled with dirt. It is a part of the past
and people have absorbed it all.
There are bees here, with pollen clinging
like yellow socks. They visit every flower
in the garden. It looks like a labor of love,
the way they dive in, immersing themselves
in the petals—like desperate children
jumping into swimming pools.
On the table the newspaper is open
to a picture of a man carrying two grocery bags.
He is in Tiananmen Square, a place I
was unaware of until today. He is standing
in front of a column of tanks. Inside
each tank are crying soldiers. Men
ordered to turn on their brothers.
The old woman outside my window
smiles up at me, unaware of the past.
She is a purple thing, a part of the garden.
Today she could be anywhere
and be unaware. Today is the best day
of her life—her mind slips when she gardens.
- Glenn Lyvers