The Sakura Trees

April 3, 2008
By Carman Fowler, Bethune, SC

He tended to walk under them when he couldn’t think. The cherry blossoms. Abundant in pink-kissed beauty. When his mind was blocked, when the ideas filling in his mind got too crowded, when the turmoil locked deep inside opened the lid and screamed a little. He would throw his pen down in frustration, jump up from his desk and he would run. He never dared to stop, to look back to see the aggravation following him. So he ran beneath the blushing blossoms. To breath, to think, to escape. He never wrote during the winter of fear of never finding his cherry trees. And then she came in. Carrying a book in one hand, a MP3 player in the other, her striped skullcap crushing her auburn curls, her dancing blue eyes, the dashes of sliver embedded into those thoughtful eyes flashing. With the courage of a tiger she grabbed him by the hand and pulled him out of the lonely company of flowers. Never a dull moment around and her never-ending stream of facts, statistics, and worthless trivia. Her obsessions with odd things. Keys, rings, postcards, and pressed pennies. It all intrigued him. Fueled his ever-turning mind and became the ink for his pen. But things are never are they seem. She was pulled from the bonds of life by the ever gentle killer of cancer. He never got to say goodbye. He couldn’t muster the strength for his first funeral. So the years passed, he wrote, he walked, he plucked a cherry blossom from a tree. Never having pulled a petal from any of the trees, it struck a feeling in him. He established his resolve and visited her grave. Standing there, he lay a ballpoint pen at her headstone. “I love you, my sweet Sakura.” Was all he said.
He turned and left a tear in his black eyes, his now gray hair drifting across his face. The ballpoint pen had pink ink. He never wrote another word after that day.

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