In the back yard of our house
On Sutter Street in North Fairmount
There was one little cherry tree,
Which, despite its diminutive size,
Produced a fair amount of
Sour cherries once a year
My mother baked a cherry pie,
But without removing the seeds.
You had to spit the pits out
On your plate.
(We never figured out why mom
didn’t remove the seeds from the cherries.
I am guessing it was too much work).
Of more importance to me
As a child
Was climbing that tree
Where I somehow managed to
Wedge a board into a Y of the tree
From which I could sit
And read my book
And eat peanut butter crackers.
At my grandmother’s house
On Baltimore Street
There were many trees, mostly apple,
And we were free to climb the trees;
When there were apples to harvest
Grandma would send a grandson
Up the tree to shake the limbs
And we would gather the apples
Which were made into applesauce,
A family event that my mother and
Two aunts participated in.
Excess apples would be put into a red wagon
And one of the grandchildren would take them
To the nuns’ house behind St Leo’s School.
Maybe they made applesauce too.
Across the street from us
The Back Family had a pear tree
But I don’t remember any of us ever climbing
That tree. It may have been too big without
Branches to provide some leverage.
We did sometimes pick the pears to eat.
We were tree climbing children,
All of us
But I think I forsook climbing trees
Once I became ten or eleven years old.
I was too old to be climbing trees anymore.
Sandra Lee Smith
Posted 2010/updated May 13, 2018