A PLACE OF ONE'S OWN
Imagine the tree that you climbed as a child
Where you sat and surveyed your world.
It may have been the very first place you
Found privacy and solitude. It was from there
That you launched your dreams, while hiding
From the parents who would always knew where to find you.
THE OLD BALDWIN AND THE APPLE SLAYER
My favorite tree was an old Baldwin. It grew behind our barn
And bore a crop of pie making fruit which my mother turned into
Sumptuous pies. Mother would say, “Baldwins don’t melt as fast as Macs
So you must mix them for the perfect balance of flavor and texture"
I hated baking. So it didn’t matter much to me. What I liked was
The rotten fruit which fell on the ground behind the barn.
The decaying drops were the weapons of my childhood mayhem.
I gathered the rotting fruit in a basket and hurled it
Against the weathered boards slaying my imaginary
Enemies with apple mush and seeds.
Sharon Memorial Park, Canton, MA
THE FAMILY PLOT.
I am to be buried beneath an Oak Tree in a memorial park where trees identify the lot, plot and grave. It is a huge place and without its tree guides you might wander up and down lanes looking for bronze markers that are flat and inconspicuous. Our Oak was planted 70 years ago, and although we are both about the same age, the Oak will stand long after I am planted beneath.
My dear friend is buried beneath a flowering cherry tree. I find it amusing that you can't see his marker anymore. The drooping branches heavy with blossoms in Spring provide a pink blanket atop his spot and his ashes are now one with the tree.
When I was a child we lived next to an old cemetery dating back to the Revolutionary War. On the rise above the rows of slate headstones were the plain markers of the un-named. It is still called Paupers Hill. Heavily treed with scrub oak and scraggily pine one had to dig and scrape to find the remnants of the flat stones. When we were kids we imagined that Indians were buried there. And so we considered it sacred ground. We scratched around to find relics but none were ever discovered.