Someone I know Died in Coho Square

Under the Sakura Tree by Lye Tuck-Po

The assignment was to write a poem using this picture as inspiration. I was instructed to avoid use of the word: umbrella. This was tough. In the end, I don’t think the poem sounds natural, though I like the idea I came up with for the story of the thing. Here’s the poem I wrote:

Someone I know Died in Coho Square

Remember nine
and walks in Coho Square?
Domo, your giant rot
yanked us on his leash
like wind through flags on ropes.
Then cancer put him down
and his bowl went
with dust in the attic.
After, you brought shade
under the cherry blossoms
even when the world’s ceiling
was blue.
You said Domo’s spirit
lived in that shadow
and the once you let me under
I heard nothing:
silly silence.

Another azure marble day
I find Coho Square again
barely a cherry blossom left
and you
Thin as the rod
that still holds your patched shade up.
A man carries your baggage now.
Shares your shadow.
Cold demeanors split by aluminum.
Shades on your eyes
Over your head
Coats in summer
and all it took
to turn a girl
into a vampire
was the death of a dog.

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