The Locust Tree (Front Door continued)
There isn't much left of the old locust tree.
Once there was a tire swing that hung from the lower branches.
In the spring the blossoms would perfume the air and scatter like a wedding quilt over our front lawn. Our youngest daughter would wheeze and search for her inhaler.
The squirrels and birds made their homes high in its branches.
The afternoon shade fell across my kitchen window and the sunlight would filter lightly through, painting designs on the cupboards and kitchen table.
As summer was fulfilled and the sun moved to the north, the green mass would shade our cars and garage from the afternoon grilling. The breeze playing in the branches above brought to mind the sounds of pages turning and muffled giggles in the children's library.
Its leaves came down with the first fall rain and left images on the sidewalk and leaf dunes against the cedar fence that runs from our house to next door.
Winter found it a stalwart foe silhouetted by star light during the longest nights. Snow hid in the crook of the boughs and dropped on unsuspecting open collars.
One day the tree doctor diagnosed a terminal insect infestation and said it was too late for recovery.
I cried across the street.
Something about that old tree must be dear to our neighbor, Bill. The tree surgeon cut and cut. When he left, however, there stood the trunk of our old locust friend.
Every so often Bill tells me that he needs to get the rest of that old tree down.
I always respond that I don't mind watching it from my front door.