Friday, 10 April 2009

Family Tree by Mather Schneider

Me and Josie go to Agua Caliente park
and look at a giant mesquite tree
four times bigger than I’ve ever seen
sprawling with great old growth grotesquely gothic arms
spidering out like a nightmare.
It’s so big it would have died long ago
fallen from its own weight
and rotted into the ground
if people hadn’t built a support system
of ropes and chains and rubber hoses and hammocks
and crutches to hold up the biggest
most cumbersome branches.
There’s something obscene about it,
like a man grown so fat
he can’t get out of bed.
Josie tries to imagine something like this happening
in Mexico where she was born.
The American fondness for animals and trees
is a strange sentimental concept to her.
And I think, Why this tree
when so many thousands of other old growth mesquites
were slaughtered seventy five years ago
so people could move in and eventually
yearn for the past?
Me and Josie both wonder if it wouldn’t be better
to let it die
but we are not sure,
and so we just stand there looking at it
eating bananas.

Mather Schneider, Arizona, USA


Crafty Green Poet said...

Mather is a 39 year old cab driver living with a Mexican girl in Tucson. No awards, college degrees, children or pets. His work has appeared in the small press since 1996.

jack sender said...

i liked it a lot. it's a fine story with a point of view. I had to wonder if it was intentional that i didn't know who was eating the banana, they or the tree.
anyway i liked it all.

Anonymous said...