When I Was 12

The maple reached low
to cup my foot,
then I danced in its sway
to the top branches—
so slight the tree
preferred me to Frank
or Eddie. Just me.
Invisible as the wind.
Cool in August.

But Mama screeched
my name like she thought
I’d disappeared. Sent my brother
to saw off the low limbs.
I was now a young lady.
She needed me in full sight.

Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, with a genius older brother destined for NASA, a ghost, and a yard full of cats. She graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. Alarie serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place in Kansas City, Missouri. She hopes you’ll check out her books, sample poems, and new blog at http://alariepoet.com.

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6 Responses to When I Was 12

  1. Frank says:

    Very nice. We did climb that tree a few times. And you are right! It preferred you. Lighter!

    • atenni says:

      Very kind of you, Frank, just as it was sweet all you guys didn’t exclude me from the sports that I disgraced.

  2. Gay McManus Thomas says:

    Love it! It has me reflecting back to when our yards were back to back.

  3. Joan Kennedy says:

    Very nice. Thanks for remembering Frank and Ed(die).

    • atenni says:

      It’s always a pleasure to think of them and of Jim, too, though he was enough older that we spent less time together.

  4. atenni says:

    Thanks, Gay. Yes, that was the tree between us to my far left and your right.

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