The Elm Tree
The elm tree is a sentinel in our back yard.
It provides welcomed shade on summer days like this one.
A long rope hangs from a branch that seems to be as high as the sky itself.
I place the charcoal in the grill and squirt on the lighter fuel.
Strangely, I enjoy that smell.
My mom strikes a wooden kitchen match and tosses it onto the soaked charcoal.
The instant flare makes us both jump back and turn our faces away.
Soon the aroma of the chicken takes over.
I am pulled to the waiting rope hanging from the tree.
To climb to the top and touch the branch from which it descends.
As I hang there spellbound by the view my mother comes out to tend to the chicken.
With wide eyes and a hint of fear in her voice she commands that I come down.
I know this battle is futile.
I slowly retreat with bowed head and wet eyes.
September 08, 2013