This Easter
we celebrate the resurrection
of our Lazarus uncles,
the two who repeatedly
returned from last rites,
defying premature death.

Young cousins take
blackened tongs
from wrinkled hands
of their vanishing fathers,
gather around smoking grills,
turning pale breasts of chicken.

This year there are more
storytelling cooks
than egg-hunting children.
My aunt shows me
a single flowering branch
on her once-huge ceanothus,
tells me how mature limbs
rotten to the core
from winter's wet weather.

We feast
surrounded by orchards
of Eden:
wild radish, tenacious mustard,
clumps of obstinate lupine.
Around us rise gnarled claws
of blossoming wood,
monumental rows of my
grandfather's trees:
fifty years old and
still heavy with almonds.


c2000 by Jennifer Lagier