prickly pear and paw-paw

My Grandmother’s cactus blooms in my mother’s yard now.  It’s a prickly pear; paddle-shaped with lemon-colored flowers.

Grandma's prickly pear looks great in Mom's yard.

On Arlington Court, the plants tell stories.  Even the ones that are gone.

There was a paw-paw tree by number 17 for years; from it I tasted paw-paw for the first time.  It was like a custard with a slight citrus flavor – maybe lemon or lime.  I had paw-paw ice cream once, from Ellen’s on Capitol Street.  Neither it or the raw fruit agreed much with my stomach, but I’m glad I ate it anyway.

One year, before Susan died, we decorated the paw-paw tree for Christmas with old CD’s.  Many of them were promotional copies from my job at the radio station (bad music).  I remember stepping out on the porch roof from the second floor window to hang CD’s on the branches.

They turned and glittered like a strobe light; the teenagers brought out a boom-box and played Dancing Queen by ABBA.

The tree is gone now.  It had a big split in it that couldn’t be fixed.  It was hard to let go; but we knew it had to be done.

It will always live in my mind – the tree that made us dance.

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Posted in Life, Writing

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