Friday, May 24, 2013

The Mulberry Tree

When I was a kid, my maternal grandparents' asphalt driveway
rose up a sloping hill to a small homestead with crisp white buildings
painted with sky-blue roofs.
A long white board fence with "x' supports ran the length of the drive.
And at the bottom  of the hill, next to the fence, was an old mulberry tree
that dropped mulberries by the hundreds.

photo from

We kids always seemed to end up there
despite our elders' admonitions, 
and our disobedience was evident from stained fingers and clothes.

But there was something  hard to resist about a tree with dark berries--
probably because they looked like tiny blackberries to me
and I loved blackberries.
Playing under the mulberry tree is a pleasant memory,
even though the mulberries were seedy and a little sour.

photo from

Last spring I was delighted to see a native red mulberry tree
had sprung up at the edge of our woods here--
a tough environment for anything to grow 
because the shade is deep and the soil dry.
But there it was, bending gracefully, full of berries.

I'm not inclined to jelly-making, 
nor any longer of the mind to eat mulberries from the tree.
But I like knowing it's there, and the birds like it especially.
I read once that leaving part of our yards to nature
will yield an unexpected pleasure or two.
A mulberry tree for me, and what might come to you?
Try it and see.

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