Maybe the Cherry Tree Remembers
My old neighbor texted me today,
with a photo of the blooming cherry
in my former front yard, thanking me
for the view from her window
I never knew she enjoyed.
Funny how I’d thought every trace
of our 26 years in that red brick house
had been loaded into the long white van,
lumbering out of the driveway
on a crisp November evening.
Certainly the staircase
we climbed every night to bed,
the stainless steel sink
where we washed our pink dishes,
the deck out back never used enough—
they don’t mourn our absence
as new owners move in
to paint and carpet over
any marks we left behind.
But maybe the cherry tree remembers
that afternoon almost three decades ago,
when a couple came out of a red brick house
to dig a hole for a scrawny sapling
whose branches now reach to the sky.
I almost reacted. Almost
questioned how he could dare
complain about more pots to wash
when I cooked all afternoon.
Then I remembered the honeybee,
how it dies a gruesome death
when its stinger embeds
in human skin. The bee tears
a hole in its belly pulling out
the sac of venom.
A honeybee values peace.
It only stings when threatened,
not over something as petty
as who cooked and who cleaned up.
And certainly not when it could rest,
like I am right now, with feet up
on the couch, while my honey
loads the dishwasher
and scrubs every pot.
Jacqueline Jules is the author of Manna in the Morning (Kelsay Books, 2021) and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her poetry has appeared in over 100 publications including One Art, The Sunlight Press, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Hospital Drive, and Imitation Fruit. Visit her online www.jacquelinejules.com
One thought on “Two Poems by Jacqueline Jules”
I love both of these poems so much–how the lean into a moment, into history, into the natural world. Such beautiful, quiet use of metaphor in both of them. What we choose to plant, how we choose not to sting–thank you for these poems.