One of my classes has us writing thank you notes. I thought I'd use the opportunity to make cards again for the first time in a long while.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I remember trees.
I remember the three fruitless mulberries I used to climb with a book in one hand. I remember making my way around the top branches as they bent beneath my weight. Finding the just the right perch to sit and escape for hours.
I remember the cherry plum tree. It was another tree for climbing, but not a place for reading. The reward of this ascent was the sticky sweet fruit, small as a cherry, flavor of a plum. Eating fruit, spitting seeds, sharing with the birds. Until they cut the tree down to expand the driveway.
I remember the apricot tree. It wasn't our tree. It was part of Mr. Parr's perfect yard. His yard was an oasis of order and beauty. Fragrant roses lined every wall. Flowers bloomed in season without fail. But his prize was the apricot tree in his backyard. It only bore fruit on alternate years, but when it did, it was a bountiful harvest. Branches heavy with gold hung over our fence. Mr. Parr allowed those branches to grow, his quiet gift to us, granting permission to eat any of the fruit that shadowed our yard. Warm from the sun, fleshy, and sweet.
"You must not eat them all."
"We must make cobbler."
"We must make jam."
"We must turn them into something else."
Each one is perfect as it is.
Warm from the sun.
Sweet and fleshy.
Before this, I was the cool chick with the sporty car
Like a bumblebee savoring the sweet nectar of summer but flying fast, racing--
Like a blaze of yellow sun streaking down the highway, windows rolled down, 2/55.
It was glorious with black vinyl seats, manual transmission, and 8-track player.
And then Dad gave it to my kid brother.
Who promptly crashed it.
And after that everything changed because I drove the luxury sedan
Like a tall glass of very grown up iced tea, windows rolled up, A/C blasting.
Like an elegant old woman in pearls striding smoothly in automatic
Pushed to be an adult while still a teenager.
Unlike my kid brother.
Someday I will be the cool old lady with the sporty car
Like Halley's comet whizzing by earth every 75 years
Like silver mercury conducting electricity gliding over the road
Enjoying glorious freedom with the convertible top down and manual transmission
Better hang on.
My Graduate English class is challenging me in a number of ways. This poem is one of our assignments.