Cherry Tree

oil on canvas board

Four front doors down
on a cracked
and undulating sidewalk
with buckets in hand
my mother would send
my sisters and I, we were five
to Mrs. Finky’s house
where there grew
a huge cherry tree
right next to
a very modern carport
of streamline blue.

She’d answer the door
in a caftan of gold brocade
holding her orange Pomeranian,
She’d put him down on the floor
as she closed the door
don’t break the limbs, please
don’t break the limbs.

And the cherries would say,
come this way.

It was like being inside
a magical tent
of rubies and wrens
and breakable limbs.

The cherries would take
our breath away.
The cherries would take
our breath

What if all of the breaths
that got taken away
throughout your life
could come back to you
as there you lay