I remember the slant of the afternoon sunshine through the leaves of the apricot tree colouring my world green. I remember climbing that tree, picking its fruit, sitting in a cross-legged circle under the boughs, pulling the fuzzy orange orbs in half to check for worms before we popped the warm ripe flesh into our waiting mouths, building a house (of sorts) in its branches, crying and hugging it when we moved away.

I remember the outstretched arms of the oak tree as it stood among the rolling California foothills.  I remember sharing picnics underneath that tree with all manner of greedy insects. I remember gathering acorns, playing fairies, and in winter loving that tree with a fierce intensity for its bold fingers which reached up to heaven.  I remember the storm that brought that oak tree down.

I remember the umbrella thorn (which you called Acacia tortillis) that stood as a sentinel to the land of the Zulu.  A symbol of Africa, a picture of new life (new animals, new bugs, new flowers, and new trees).  A mother spreading her limbs over her small ones, like an overprotective hen.  Each time we passed that guardian, my heart embraced the land.  I remember the day we discovered the felled tree wantonly hacked to the ground.  Something inside me broke.

 

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NaPoWriMo — Day Twenty-Nine: Write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other.

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