Friday, August 23, 2019

The Mulberry Tree on Jasper Drive

Edward wanted to cut down
the mulberry tree in the front yard
but found unexpected resistance
in the form of a crying six-year-old daughter.
Hiccuping sobs,
snot running down her nose
into her open mouth
on her tragedy mask face.
“Those berries stain the driveway,”
Edward accused.
“But I eat them every year,
and I never will agaiiiiiin!”
Molly wailed.
“Why do you even want to?
They taste terrible!”
“No, I love them!”
she countered.
“Nonsense!” Edward huffed.
“No one likes eating mulberries.”
“If you cut down the tree,”
she posited between gasps,
“you’ll kill all the squirrels
and baby birds
and their mommies
and daddies will cry forever!”
“Oh for Pete’s sake,”
her father sighed.
“Fine. We’ll keep the damn tree.
But I’m cutting back some of
the branches.”
Catastrophe and murder averted,
Molly wiped the tears and mucus
away from her face,
red with the exertion of her outburst,
and smeared these fluids
all over her father’s shirt.
“Can I have a snack?” she asked him.
“Go eat some mulberries,” he replied.

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