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Shade Tree

By , Wellesley, MA
Do you remember when last we came here?
Gathering underneath this branch,
Cross the field from the ranch, such a simple fancy.
How has this humble tree lasted so long?
It is still so strong,
The fruit has held on,
Throughout the endless, honey summer times.

Can you recall the last days of us?
I made such a fuss that you come back to me.
Still, your dream could not be demeaned.
Your gift was golden, bright, and shining,
Just as your trumpet, its case lining,
And these here peaches we ever took from under this shade,
This forgiving shade,
Where I had my last, long look at you.

And through the haze of those summer days I saw your face,
And though your mouth stayed stiff in place,
Your eyes shone like a fire;
Two furnaces, black as pitch, but with a rich, intense desire for the fancy things.

"I wanna leave this place, Martha," still under that tree,
You said to me, "I need to be free,"
"My trumpet here can get me far," you said,
Far as a shooting star cross a empty midnight sky.
"If only I go north," you said,
"New York is where I'm going for."
"Harlem is mighty far, Charles," said I,
And I began to cry as I closed my eyes to you.
"Martha, Dear, you will soon see,
My trumpet will make the best of me."

Sitting here now, my brow furrows,
Though the shade still shows under this menace sun,
And your voice still rings, just as clear,
"Martha, Dear," you said to me.
"I understand now, Charles," I wheeze,
As I reach and seize another lovely peach,
"You let your trumpet take from you the best."
And now all I can think is how it could be,
That all I wanted of you was the rest.

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