Thursday, April 20, 2017


Its arms are open wide. Our coral tree spans about forty feet in its embrace with dozens of eyes as red lanterns. Three trunks come out of the ground, each thigh with its own calligraphy of bends and twists proclaiming a place in the sun. One could adore this tree. It starts outside our dining room window and covers half the living room. It is a kitchen with morning juice for hummingbirds and a bedroom in its elbows for nesting doves.

Before the blossoms burst through they resemble pregnant pine cones. When the flower is done with its spring dress its next act is a broad green leaf with a long life well into winter.

It never hurts to plan one’s afterlife. I could do worse than add my incinerated calcium to this tree in my next incarnation. The weather agrees with me. And I might spend eternity peeking in windows. Look at that man reading the morning paper instead of talking to his wife. That guy looks familiar.

Somebody, having gotten up on the wrong side of bed, declaimed that life is like licking honey off a thorn. From the thorn’s point of view it must feel good. Those cones appear sharp enough to keep away undeserving tongues. But the tree seems to me to be forgiving mankind for its blunders. Why else all those red candles each morning celebrating yesterday?

Yes, I know, anthropomorphizing is forbidden. I could lose my poetic license from a dozen infractions. A tree is a tree is a tree without consciousness…except in bad poetry. Shelley and Keats did it and they died young but Wordsworth lived a long life wandering lonely as a cloud. Ah, but that was then. In spite of all that I want my bone meal scattered here anyway. I could stand as sentinel to make sure this apartment building remains under rent control.

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