Trees alive

The yard at Grandma’s house is infested with locust trees with worrisome thorns,
a “disgusting” tree, she says, willing her fruit trees to hurry up and replace them.
Neighboring willows and oaks stretch out their dusky fingers in the fading light
as she nourishes her wanted trees barely taller than Grandpa, no taller than a moose:
the cherry tree with its thin leaves; its cousin still sad at loosing its blossoms
to a rogue breeze brisk in springtime; and the crown jewel with purple leaves and buds strong enough to survive the unexpected freeze that did in the cherry blossom.
The deep purple leaves thick and dark put to shame the shade of its neighbors,
a showpiece of musky color among the expected greens and browns of the oasis.
She wants to plant another when you arrive, another Newport Flowering Plum
as another Newport flowers into the world to make its mark on the world,
a reason for worrying about the fragility of youth, of the life of a tree.
Grandma Moose’s worry grows like those thorn-infested locust trees,
a nuisance she’d rather do without were it not for their unfortunate usefulness
just beyond the slick fingers of those oaks sturdy in their solitary reaches,
blocking dusty gusts of summer threatening to disturb her more precious trees.



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