The third stanza addresses the aftermath of the failed encounter and, again, the failure is partly symbolized by the cherry blossom. The speaker still retains one branch, picked at the same time as the offering to ‘you’; while this suggests a sharing of the beauty and emotional symbolism of the flowers between the two locations and people (lovers?), it also means that, projecting into the future, he will know when her flowers wilt and fall because his flowers will do so at the same time. The imagined synchrony of the death of the flowers suggests the withering of the relationship between the two people. Still focusing on ‘you’, the speaker imagines her clearing up the remains of the cherry blossom and disposing of them ‘with the ashes/and empties’. Because the cherry flowers, briefly, at Easter, as both Housman and Thomas mention, it may also be associated, paradoxically, both with the fresh new life of Spring and with the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday. The ‘ashes’ bring to mind the grief and repentance of Ash Wednesday, while also being a powerful general image of death and futility.The ‘ashes’ are paired with ‘empties’ – possibly a reference to putting out empty milk-bottles or the discarding of empty bottles of wine or other alcoholic drinks – suggesting the void which now exists between the two, and contrasts effectively with the image of plenitude and beauty with which the poem opens. Noteworthy, also, is the fact that in this final stanza, it is ‘you’ who is active, ‘brush[ing]’ and ‘toss[ing]’, clearing up the detritus of the dead flowers, while in the first stanza it is ‘I’ who is dynamic and daring in his actions. The final, bitter-sounding phrase, ‘yesterday’s news’ (referring to the old newspaper in which the ash is collected as well as the idiom connoting that someone/something is not worthy of attention), links up with the repeated ‘words’ of the second stanza, creating an impression of the futility and ephemerality of human expression. Like that emblem of transience, the cherry blossom, the poem indicates that human relationships, too, are short-lived and lead to sadness and regret when they are over. This final stanza contains a mixture of verb tenses, such as ‘I’d kept’ (pluperfect), ‘I’ll know’ (future), ‘you brush’ (present) which contrasts with the simple past tense used in the first two stanzas. This self-consciousness about time passing may be seen as underlining the theme of ephemerality hinted at by the cherry blossom itself .
 Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, which in the Christian calendar is the period of penitence leading up to Easter. On this day ashes are placed in a cross on the Christian worshipper’s forehead as a reminder that, in the words of Genesis 3:19, ‘dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.’
Comments on the Poem as a Whole
‘Wild Cherry’ appeared in Nigel Jenkins’s Acts of Union: Selected Poems 1974-1989. In some ways it is an uncharacteristic Nigel Jenkins poem. He is better known for politically-engaged poems which deal with the situation of Wales or with capitalism and the aftermath of colonialism. Ostensibly, this poem has no relation to any of these characteristic concerns. However, Jenkins was a poet who wrote on a very wide variety of topics; as Matthew Jarvis points out in his essay ‘Repositioning Wales’, ‘his concerns span such issues as anti-war protest, aspects of farm-life, the murder of Lorca, and poetry about punctuation.’ In Jenkins’s Selected Poems, though, there is a persistent undercurrent of poems about the natural world, as indicated by titles such as ‘Primroses’, ‘Snowdrops’, ‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘Gorse’ and ‘Silver Birch’. Moreover, in a poem entitled ‘Where poems came from’, Jenkins reflects on the gap between ‘words, books of them/ yellowed in the classroom cupboard’ and his speaker’s childhood perception of the poetry out in the world, unarticulated in words: ‘For there’s a space/in things, a gap between/ the words for it and a wave’s/ movement’.  This reflection appears to be echoed in the ellipsis after ‘words’ in ‘Wild Cherry’, along with the sense of an unbridgeable gap between the two people unable to express themselves.
One of Jenkins’s concerns in the latter part of his career was with Japanese poetic forms, and he published a volume of his own haiku, which may relate to his use of the wild cherry blossom as the central image of this poem. As noted above, cherry blossom is a key image in Japanese art and poetry, while the tradition of cherry blossom viewing in Spring (hanami) is an integral element of Japanese culture. Influenced by Buddhist thought, the cherry blossom symbolizes both beauty and ephemerality; its appreciation by humans is a kind of pleasurable duty, indicating one’s understanding and acceptance of the brevity of life. Jenkins would have been aware of these connotations when he chose to focus on the cherry blossom in this poem about failed love. His later volume of haiku, Blue (2002), includes one on cherry blossom: ‘against sunned red brick/ the pink white explosion/ of a lone cherry -// and I don’t want to leave it,/ the pavement, the day, the tree’. Again, like ‘Wild Cherry’ this poem appears to celebrate the transient beauty of the blossom, while hinting at the similar ephemerality of human life.
His interest in Japanese art was only one facet of Jenkins’s internationalist outlook. His earliest published poems are set in Morocco, while some of his most impressive satirical poems deal with the United States, and his thoughtful prose reflections are often about India and its colonial history, in which Wales has been intimately involved. Thus, although much of his work bears comparison with the Welsh Nationalist poets of the so-called ‘Second Flowering’, such as Harri Webb, his poetic horizons are much broader than theirs. Indeed, he articulated this himself when he wrote in the poem ‘Advice to a Young Poet’: ‘Sing for Wales, sure, but don’t shut your trap/on all the rest – it ain’t crap.’
 Matthew Jarvis, ‘Repositioning Wales: Poetry after the Second Flowering’ in Slanderous Tongues: Essays on Welsh Poetry in English 1970-2005 ed. Daniel G. Williams (Bridgend: Seren, 2010) pp. 21-59 (p. 40).
 Nigel Jenkins, Acts of Union, (Llandysul: Gomer, 1990) p. 33, 38, 84, 125, 138.
 Nigel Jenkins, ‘Where poems came from’, ibid. pp. 24-5.
 Jenkins suggests a similarity between early Welsh gnomic poetry and Japanese haiku in the Afterword to his co-edited collection, Another Country: Haiku Poetry from Wales (Llandysul: Gomer, 2011) p. 148 ff.
 Nigel Jenkins, Blue: 101 haiku, senryu and tanka (Aberystwyth: Planet, 2002) p. 31.
 Quoted in Matthew Jarvis, ‘Repositioning Wales’, op. cit., p. 44; Jarvis points out that Jenkins’ lines are a response to, and rebuttal of, Harri Webb’s notorious couplet, ‘Sing for Wales or shut your trap -/ All the rest’s a load of crap’, ibid. p. 57.