Carnival was long since past
July 2004 and March 2022
Carnival was over. Spring – and Easter – were not yet here.
You were too young to wander the streets by yourself,
showering paper confetti on passersby.
So two bags had come to rest here in the country,
in the basket by the door.
Let me scatter them outside, you said.
I hesitated. I knew you wanted to watch
the dots of colored paper
flutter down, lilting through the air,
landing like so many stars on the grass.
Oh well, I thought. OK. When it rains
they’ll dissolve and go away.
Now, months later, it has rained. It has poured.
The grass from green has turned to brown.
But the colored dots of paper linger on.
Recalling you. And carnival. And your six years.
And my mistaken conviction that a few hours of rain
would reduce these bits of paper to nothing.
How long will it take?
How old will you be when they return to earth,
perhaps to nourish a seedling and start their cycle all over again?
Then when the seedling has become a tree,
and carnival is once more over,
two bags of leftover confetti
will be outside the villa door
and your grandchild will ask
Grandma, can I scatter the confetti outside on the grass?
2 thoughts on “Carnival”
That’s such a tender poem, Erika, and poignant memory!
I just received a mailing from an excellent seed company with the seductive heading, 10 Flowers You Didn’t Know You Needed. They forgot to include confetti, but Erika knew better. I am forever creating gardens in my mind. Confetti and the circle of life—yes!