David Woo

The high sweep of waves, like the bulging arc
of a grand piano, and the silence of deer in a field of
lupine and trefoil, and the underthrum
of the engine turning a switchback back
to the city—“afternoon fog,” the announcer warns,
each new sea vista reverting to redwoods, back
and forth, back and forth, as if we were tracing
the sinuous legato of the Schumann trio
on the car radio.

Today the patches of sunlit mist that flow in
through the foothills and obscure the filigree
on a row of Queen Annes are occlusions
from my mother’s CT-scan: that steel-blue blur
on blur of cortex and wine-dark hemorrhage.
A year after her stroke they’ve flown out
for their anniversary, the otherworldly monotone
of her “aprosodia” leaving her wary of voicing
the love of new scenery with anything more
than a tactful coo and purl,

until we emerge from the last tunnel to where
the bridge’s gargantuan red suspensions
loom between a lowering mist and the bleared
upswell of blond hills, showing a mere tendril
of red cables and one tower’s massive tuning fork,
uncanny, oddly collate, but enough for her
to stutter, “Beauty, beauty, beauty…,”

a word my father whispers to completion:
“full, full, full.”