In the SoCal suburb
where we lived for four years
in a hundred-year-old house
with a bedroom and a half,
with a fruit cellar,
the trees were always in bloom—
a different tree, it seemed,
every month. So I had an idea
to plant 12 trees in our front yard,
12 trees in a long row,
in the order that they would bloom,
and I would look out the window
while doing the dishes or look up
from my writing, and I would say,
juniper, it must be April,
and I would say, magnolia,
it must be May. Of course,
Bank of America took that house
(do not, if you can avoid it,
buy anything in 2007)
before we could even dig the holes.
We planted an avocado tree,
to be sure, but no crabapple.
No cassia tree. And yet, even today,
our credit quite recovered,
I can still see the trees blooming
in their row, and I think,
floss silk tree, it must be October.
This is a reprint of work originally published in Running Away.
Rebecca Guess Cantor is the chair of liberal arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her book Running Away was published by Finishing Line Press, and recently The Other Half came out from White Violet Press. Her poetry has appeared in Mezzo Cammin, The Cresset, and The Lyric, among other publications. Rebecca lives in Savannah, Georgia.