The Crab-apple Tree in Your Yard
Each spring in your yard, a crab-apple tree, two stories tall
unfolds rosy ruffles, spills petals in showers of silk,
soft as your new baby’s skin. The tree sprinkles a blessing
for those who can see.
Yet one morning at five, your neighbour appears
outside in her housecoat, its belt cinched tight,
outside in her yard with not a leaf out of place;
her hands on her hips, she stands under a fresh fall of petals,
a gift from the breeze.
Ah! Glory sifting pink through morning’s slant light.
But her face is pulled into a purse of frowns,
as she glares up at your flowering crab.
She sweeps; head down, studying the slate slabs. She’s battling invasion.
Waging a war, she conquers each petal, every last one.
Heaving a sigh, with her brown slippers and broom,
she retreats to her house, so tidy and beige. And later,
I hear her leaf-blower blowing, dusting the lawn
again and again.
Words and photo are copyright Carol Steel.