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FRUIT — a fiction by ollie francis
What happens when the tree never blooms
There is a tree that watches me wake every morning. Its branches drift across my window, holding on to the frame, stroking its edges like a lover when the wind blows.
When I was younger, fresher, it was still reaching for the sill, stretching up like a child towards its mother’s arms. We planted it when we bought the house, placing its roots in the ground as we put down our own. It shielded us when we picnicked beneath its branches, dropped leaves like tears when winter came and we visited less often.
We waited for fruit, expectant of blossom and canker. We checked the buds in spring, searching for the promise of flowers. We watered the trunk, timed our feedings according to the charts given by the garden centre. We waited, signless, until the autumn came once again and the weeping came once again.
Leaves scattered the lawn like confetti.
Still it grew, stretched upwards every cycle. Year on year, until we forgot to check. We knew what its branches would look like each autumn.
And now it peers in at our window, taps on the glass and waits for us to welcome it inside. We would welcome it inside; I open the catch and swing back the pane, opened armed, and pull in the twigs I saw reaching. They resist, pull back, reluctant to commit.
I think about cutting it down. Call in the surgeons and have it taken away. We could put a bench there, sit together and watch the sun go down.
But I think I would miss its wrinkled face there in the mornings. Always on the edges of our home, looking in.
So I wait, letting nature take its course, hoping against all odds that one day the buds might bring us flowers.
Originally published on Tumblr
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