12 Trees

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.

This entry was posted in Poetry, Reprint and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 12 Trees

  1. I’m going to buy this book. What a poem.

  2. I hope that you get to plant your trees someday.

  3. L.K. Latham says:

    Nice and sad at the same time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.