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A Choice

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.

Published in Front Porch Review, 2019


Pale Blossoms Drift Across The Garden - Photo Taken by Henry Brown

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