. . . the tree missed most . . . a decade ago a magnificent aged chokecherry tree filled the backyard . . . had always thought chokecherries grew on bushes but this was a huge tree . . . at the end of august each year three full days were set aside to scale the limbs and branches to pluck the tree clean . . . a joyous solitary act accomplished with song and summer reflection . . . buckets & buckets of chokecherries transformed into over forty gallons of chokecherry wine by christmas . . . the wine making was passed on to me by my father . . . one summer the tree fell sick . . . no fruit . . . leaves shrivelled and the trunk split . . . what followed was a painful removal and burning . . . next summer I left . . . the bottles that once contained the wine are reused . . . they form a base for the heads of the puppet making project . . . the hands pick raspberries now when visiting my mother . . . the memory has that same bittersweet ‘choke’ of the chokecherry . . . traces left in this cycle of retrieval, recording and reassembling . . . the tree missed most . . .
(for&thanks Ecotone: Writing About Place: TreesAndPlace