Safe beneath my tree

ByKevin Kuzma

Safe beneath my tree

Lying on my back
on the picnic table
in my grandparents’ backyard
I used to sing to the birds
in the high branches
of the catalpa tree
My grandparents called it the cigar tree
because of the long,
arching pods
that dangled from
the limbs
These appeared as though
you could pluck them
take a lighter to them
and smoke them
but I never tried
Their backyard
was almost all shade
with a little sunshine
for a courtyard area
and a brick fireplace
But I kept to the shade
that filtered the sunlight
and created a shimmer
when the wind blew the branches
It was almost like being underwater
at the bottom of a clear ocean
or fish tank
Sunlight shimmering
Leaves turning over white
in the breeze
I sang and sang
whistle after whistle
to the singing birdies
maybe the only walking creature
who paid them any attention
or realized they were there
I felt safe
and never once dreamed
the birds might swoop down
afraid of the interloper
interrupting their song
and peck at my eyes
my neck
anywhere that frightens or hurts
I never once dreamed
someone I didn’t know
might come walking out of the backwoods
and find me there
no more than 5 years old
blue eyes
and try to take me home
A little boy
dangling innocence
from the cigar tree

About the author

Kevin Kuzma administrator

Leave a Reply