Three Trees

short poetry, colonialism, family, history trees death religion separation, love

A brook runs through my Grandmas farm,
That used to carry gold.

My Grandpa
-Benjamin-

Did not yield the land,
To the British, who wanted it dammed.

In 1968, they took him in,
To have his appendix removed,
And Grandma never remarried.

My Aunt Alice,
Was a witch.

She flew in on broomsticks
We never saw,

But heard in the barn,
Where she parked.

She brought foreign sweets that didn’t
Crack our lips,
And told us naughty jokes.

-Oh Pope the Bastard,
Please pass the Custard!-
We’d squeal and never tell,

And feel all grown up and,
Conspiratorial.

Grandma says she died running with
The wrong pack,

That she was knocked from the sky,
By a cross.

Later we learned,
It was a broken heart that did it, that

Grandma wouldn’t accept a,
Jewish man in the house,

So she killed herself.

Mary was dead when we got here,
Her tree is the prettiest.

It’s a large yellow poplar that
Trembles in the slightest breeze.

She was a violinist,
A frail, little thing, who

Is fading away in family photographs.

Irridescent sparrows trill,
Beautiful harmonies,
From skinny branches,

Shielded by the most delicate,
Drooping fronds.

You see, my Grandmother has three beautiful trees,
Growing in her garden,

One for Benjamin, one for Alice, one for Mary.

My grandmother used to sit under these trees.
They’re feeding off the bones she says.

-evocative short poetry-