Between Love and a Hard Place

Between Love and a Hard Place

 

Just days after he moved his
young bride into the house, he went
on a rampage, chopping, digging,

 

eradicating anything that flowered,
all the perennials planted years ago
by his grandmother:

 

peonies and poppies, hollyhocks and
grape hyacinths, an entire fence row
of heirloom tea roses, even a small grove

 

of mature pie-cherry trees, all because his new
wife hated bees. He hacked out every blooming
plant, save the grass and a prize snowball bush

 

in the front, spared only by his mother,
planted stock-steady between the bush
and the hedge clippers, bearing folded arms

 

and a death stare. That stand off, the beginning
of the end. Some months later, as she
loads her things into her Daddy’s pickup,

 

he sweats and scowls out over the sun-scorched
lawn, praying for rain, longing
for the shade of his grandmother’s trees.

 

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