Blurred Sky by Cathleen Cohen

Flowering Cherry by Cathleen Cohen

Blurred Sky
       For Peter

Sky swoons
as gray as old slate boards

or stones on graves.
Forsythia flash caution

against massed clouds,
backdrop to mourning.

Our brother evanesced
this day, decades back.

Shouldn’t grief mute?

A weeping cherry jostles
center stage, like a bridesmaid,

intent on the bouquet.
The neighbors planted it

when their daughter was born,
frothy hybrid, always flouncing.

Each year I try and fail
to paint its blooms

against insistent spring light.
Maybe this year

I can bear to see it clearly
against a blurred sky.


Author’s Note:

Our brother, Peter Krueger, died of AIDS at age 32 in the early days of the epidemic, in the spring of 1988. A talented man who loved life and art, he was an expert in European furniture at Christie’s auction house. Spurred by love for him, our family worked to build a clinic in his name at Beth Israel Mt Sinai in NYC for those with HIV. Each spring I write poems in his memory. He is always with me.


Cathleen Cohen was the 2019 Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, PA. A poet, painter and teacher, she created the We the Poets program for children ( Her poems appear in journals such as Apiary, Baltimore Review, Cagibi, East Coast Ink, North of Oxford, One Art Journal, Passager, Philadelphia Stories, Rockvale Review, Rogue Agent and Toho Journal. She authored Camera Obscura (Moonstone Press, 2017), Etching the Ghost (Atmosphere Press, 2021) and Sparks and Disperses (Cornerstone Press, 2021.) Her artwork is on view at Cerulean Arts Gallery ( and