Friday, July 15, 2011

Poetry Friday - A Birthday Tree

Cherries Against Sky
Photo by Hope LV

Hope Picking Cherries
Photo by Amy LV

Earlier this week, we visited my friend Trish and her family for dinner.  Trish is a serious canner and food person, always making photo-worthy and tasty dishes and giving them to friends.  As we cut eggplants for grilled eggplant Parmesan, Trish raved about picking blueberries.  "Every time I pick blueberries or strawberries or raspberries or cherries or any fruit," she marveled, "I am always amazed.  This plant made FRUIT!"

A person cannot spend much time with Trish without wanting to pick fruit oneself.  And fortunately, Hope's birthday cherry tree is simply dripping with cherries this week.  Yesterday, the two of us got out there and filled two buckets.  We picked and picked, almost unable to believe how many cherries her tree had produced.  Later yesterday evening, Henry went out to see the dent we'd made.  "It doesn't look like anyone picked anything," he noted.

So far we have 12 jars of sour cherry jam and one fresh cherry crisp.  Today the children will fill more buckets.  More buckets!  More jam!  More crisps indeed!

Last week, Mary Lee's Poetry Friday post was titled "Seeing Instead of Just Looking."  Her photo and the poems she shared, coupled with Trish's joy in fresh fruit has me thinking about small daily and seasonal rituals.  

Students - what things do you do each day?  Each season?  This poem is about observing a tree each year and that moment of surprise when one realizes the tree is growing up.  This week I plan to write a series of poems about rituals, things that we do over and over again that give our lives meaning and goodness.

Speaking of rituals, I went through pages of cross outs before I finally arrived at the simple ending of today's poem.  Revision takes a lot of patience, just like pitting cherries or anything worthwhile.  Similar to pitting cherries, revision sometimes leaves me wondering, "Did I get everything?  Should I check one more time?  Will someone break a tooth on this?"

I love this Richard Jones poem about cherries - "Cherries in the Snow."  And Judy Collins sings a beautiful rendition of the traditional nativity ballad, "The Cherry Tree Carol" here.

If you don't know the book CHERRY PIES AND LULLABIES by Lynn Reiser, don't miss it.  It's not a poem, but it is very poetic and generational picture book.

Today's poetry bounty is served by Mary Lee herself over at A Year of Reading.  May your whole week be full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and words in every color and shape!

(Please click on POST A COMMENT below to share a thought.)


  1. YUM!!!

    I'm with you on the miracle of the bounty of plants. Even just soaking lima beans and watching them "come to life" juices me up!

  2. Such a lovely poem. Hope is adorable, and I'm sure she was tickled with this poem!

  3. Amy,

    Love the poem--and that picture your daughter Hope took is really beautiful. I thought it was a painting when I first looked at it. I'd say Hope has an excellent "photographer's eye."

  4. Cherries! one of my favorite favorite fruits - especially with nutella, chocolate syrup, or cream. Very lovely poem. =)

  5. Delicious, Amy! Love it! A very merry cheery cherry poem! "..through the years we've watched each other sway and grow." Human nature bonds with human Nature.

  6. I love cherries!
    What fun photos and a fun poem to go along with them!

  7. Thank you, friends, for your notes here. May you enjoy some cherries this week too! A.

  8. Amy, we just came back from the farmers' market & saw your pictures and poem. I love the little connections with you from states away.