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as the flowers opened
stretching their petals
as they reached for the
she watched them mature
into full blooms
strong and beautiful
as they began to fade
curling in upon themselves
their petals wilting
falling from their stems
as the end came
and their leaves
dry and crisp
from one vase of
all of life
Photo: Elijah O’Donnell
the tree laid in the street
her lights still lit
she couldn’t believe
this was how her life was ending
she’d barely had time to grow
and now she was alone
she tried to remember
where she sprouted
remember the trees
that had been around her
to the ground
but her memories
were fading fast
she was thirsty
and a little afraid
that’s when she heard a
and felt her needles move
a tiny mouse was climbing
in her branches
the mouse darted around
twitching and gathering
material for a nest
patting the needles in place
with her pink paws
the mouse turned in a circle
and curled up
her tiny tail
wrapped tightly around her
the tree suddenly felt happy
she was no longer alone
she had a friend
and her lights
were still on
One of the hens suggested that the chicklets do yoga, to burn off some of their energy. It didn’t work. They fell asleep, fell over, laughed and rolled around on the floor. The hens gave up and decided it definitely wasn’t for them. Chicklets aren’t that bendy either, in case you didn’t know.
“Get off my bike,” she said, walking up to him, punching him on the shoulder.
“This is your bike?” he asked, standing up.
“Oh, so you’re sexist as well as an interloper.”
“Why do you keep repeating what I’m saying?”
“Was I?” he asked.
“Why are you still standing here?” she hissed.
“I built this bike for my brother,” he said. “I thought he might be around here someplace.”
“Yeah, we’ve been out of touch for…”
“…a long time,” she finished. “I didn’t even know he had a brother.”
“He doesn’t like to talk about me,” he snickered, looking away. “I’d appreciate it if you’d tell me how you got the bike.”
“After they had Bobby, Meg made him sell it.”
“He named his kid, Bobby?”
“My name’s Bobby.”
“I guess he missed you,” she said. “Does he know you’re in town?”
He shook his head.
“Come on, I’ll take you to him. And, by the way, I’m Liz.””
“That’s probably not a good idea, Liz,” he said. “He married Meggie. Not surprised. She used to live next door to us. He’s been crazy about her since we were kids. Are they happy?”
“Seems like it,” she said.
“Sorry about sitting on your bike.”
“Sorry I punched you in the shoulder,” she said. “But then again, maybe not.”
“You still call the bike, Queenie?”
“Yes, I kept her name.”
“Good enough,” he said, nodding.
“Can I take you somewhere?”
“Can I drive?” he asked, laughing, holding his arm up to protect his shoulder.
“Funny,” she grinned. “But seriously, if I can drop you someplace, I will.”
“How about your place.”
“Hop on,” she said.
“Sure, why not.”
She pulled up to a small one story cottage and they both got off the bike. Meg came out of the front door, holding the baby. She stopped and stared at them.
“I brought this stray home,” said Liz. “Found him in town and…well, you know how I am about strays and besides, he was sitting on my bike.”
“Bobby?” said Meg. “Is it really you?”
“Oh, by the way,” said Liz, smiling at Bobby. “I’m Meg’s cousin. I’m staying with them until the end of the week.”
Bobby turned and started walking toward the street. A pinecone hit him in the head and he turned to see his brother ready to throw another one.
“You running away again, Bobby?”
“I never ran away and you know it,” he said, picking up the pinecone and throwing as hard as he could.
“Ow!” said his brother.
“Big baby,” laughed Bobby, picking up more ammunition.
“So, are you back now?” asked his brother, throwing the pinecone.
“Just passing through.”
“”It’s lunchtime, so get your skinny behind in the house.”
“You telling me what to do already?” asked Bobby.
“It’s my job to tell you what to do. And, while I’m at it, you might want to be nice to Liz. She’s cool and you only have two days to make her fall in love with you, so you better get busy.”
“Is he always like this?” asked Liz.
“Why do you think I left,” sighed Bobby, walking toward the house.