Their heads grown weary under the weight of Time—

These few hours on the hither side of silence—

The lilac sprigs bend on the bough to perish.

Though each for its own sake is beautiful,
In each is the greater, the remembered beauty.
Each is exemplar of its ancestors.

Within the flower of the present, uneasy in the wind,
Are the forms of those of the years behind the door.
Their faint aroma touches the edge of the mind.

And the living and the past give to one another.
There is no door between them.  They pass freely
Out of themselves; becoming one another.

I see the lilac sprigs bending and withering.
Each year like Adonis they pass through the dumb-show of death,
Waxing and waning on the tree in the brain of a man.


Listen to this poem set to music by Robert Cohen.

Listen to a live recording of this poem being sung by a choir a cappella; Miami Beach, FL April, 2015.