Plum Blossoms


At least, I think these are plum blossoms.

There used to be a gnarled old plum tree on the island in the middle of my childhood street. It was low to the ground, and afforded easy climbing opportunities for a boy. One large branch veered off at a precariously low angle, while the main trunk went up and above, affording a leafy canopy. Every late spring it bloomed in sprays of white, with a sweet-smelling perfume that also attracted buzzing bees. They never bothered me.

I was fascinated by the amber sap that formed bulbous clumps of shiny beauty. Every bruise or cut bled into a little jewel that I’d discover at varying stages of solidity. If you caught it at the right moment, it was almost transparent, while at other times the lightest touch would turn it cloudy and matte-like. Clearly, I’m not a scientist, and I’m only describing how a clueless boy saw the world at such a young age.

I sat on that limb, swinging my legs over the uncut grass beneath it, and waited for summer to arrive.

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