The Cherry Tree

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Contributor: Ron Yazinski

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After wild spring winds snapped it at the stump,
The ornamental cherry tree lies across the front yard,
Dead, but blossoming one last time
In its customary frenzy of pink and white.

Behind it, on the front porch of the family home,
Four brothers remember the day a half-century ago
When mom chose it for her new house,
And dad, who hated yard work, planted it.

Then they mention the pictures
Most of their kids had taken in front of this tree
When they stopped to see grandma
On their way to the prom;

Then one pulls out his cell phone
With its photo from last year,
Of mom holding her great grandchild
In front of this same tree.

Finally, there is the estate to be settled.
They agree that the tree will have to be removed
Before the house is put on the market.
And how it’s a shame the neighborhood has deteriorated;

Then silence, as they realize this is the last time
They will ever feel comfortable here;
And the one from New England says
“Just imagine how sweet that wood will smell when it burns.”

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Ron Yazinski is a retired English teacher, who divides his time between Northeastern Pennsylvania, which has all the charm of an underground parking garage, and Winter Garden, Florida.


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