Betsy Holleman Burke
A behemoth engulfs the patio of our new home. We shake our
heads. What idiocy to forget spindly cherry trees become giants.
Forty years on six feet in diameter. Five forked branches tangle
upwards — profuse leaves, rough bark, curious lichen spots.
Hellebores and ferns tumble around the trunk. It sprawls across
our roof, the neighbor’s shingles, covers three skylights, render them
sightless. Patio steps heaved high, impassable. A root pale and large
as a crocodile snakes its way toward the foundation. Debris showers
down every season. We imagine screams as the chain saw slices
layer after layer from the root. Treatment repeated again the next
day. Concrete bandages the wound. Errant limbs eliminated.
No one knows if the treatment will kill or cure. We pray through
the winter, monitor progress outside my office window. From snow
adornment to new spring green, life stirs. Leaves sprout along
branches, tight fuchsia buds appear. Soon double flowered pink
blossoms fill the Easter sky.