On the twenty second of October
shortly after dawn
they were curled up in their castle
when her radio alarm went off.
She didn’t have to go to work,
the moon was still in the sky,
so, What’s this? he called out.
She smiled. The cricket, she replied.
Springing forth, she grabbed jeans and tee
and caught a plane to Bangladesh.
It came as a bolt out of the blue
that she liked the game so much.
He turned over and pulled the covers
right up to his goateed chin.
My, my, he chuckled, throatily,
there is much to know about Mother.
When this apple tree is axed and carted to the yard
its old leaves stripped, its twisted branches cut and carved;
when birds and errant squirrels are summarily dismissed,
and mistletoe is torn and puckered lips unkissed;
somewhere beyond the function of its analytic brain
beneath the anxious beating of its heart, the alignment of its grain
we will get down to the nub, that grande dam the tree would be,
except artful years bore sweetest fruit contorting destiny.
He was once a real boy;
distinctly she remembered him
holding her hand and looking her in the eye.
These days, to gain his attention
she wore prescription 3D glasses
and sat in a life-simulating gaming chair;
unsure whether the blurred edges he exhibited
were the result of his stereoscopic obsession,
a definite change in generational perspective,
or the tears in her empty nest eyes.