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  • Gary Hunter

One Tough Birch - May 20, 2021

I remember as a sapling you collided with a backhoe. We tried to set your bones right but you grew stooped, more boxer than basketball player. Wide-stanced and white-muscled, you would swing wildly at the wind, jab at strangers It never occurred to us to stand on your arms or carve into your belly. That would have been cruel

You seemed curious about our driveway games, wagon wheels, chalk-marks, marbles, the scurry and squeals and shouts. Late summer afternoons when we’d arrive heads down and feet dragging you’d billow your shoulders wide as we walked under you. An umbrella for a blazing sun till the click of the front door returned the steel to your eyes and the flex to your short silvery arms

Fifty-five years is a long time to finally say goodbye, but

here I stand in front of our house, seeing the bare spot

and missing you.


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