Monday, December 01, 2008

1. Apple Tree

When I was eight, my father dug a hole in the backyard, filled it with cement, and planted a dead apple tree. I was supposed to climb on that tree and become healthy and strong -- a real boy. Never mind that the backyard was full of living trees: maple, beech, crabapple, black walnut, pine. Never mind the hundred acres of pear and apple orchards. My father had stripped off all the bark and all little branches. (It must have been a jungle gym he had in mind.) For years that skeleton tree stood in the middle of the backyard. I was careful to never go near it.

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