The Bark Scratchers

A poem.

The Bark Scratchers One soggy April, you bore the lemon tree
from the nursery,
its shining leaves reflecting hope of
years to come,
its fragrant blooms promising lemonade
for all our summers.

August proved the crueler month,
browning leaves and drying branches.
We pruned, we watered, we fed;
shoots, leaves, blossoms appeared,
just as quickly dried and blew away,
the tree a child's stick drawing.

With thumbnails, we scratched the bark,
touched dreams in the scrapings, wet with being;
winter rains brought forth green branches.
We watched and waited, months, years;
they muscled up, bore great yellow balls of fruit,
testament to patience and endurance.
John Dreyer

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