My cherry tree

The book lying open on my lap, I sit with my eyes closed, remembering. A dusty city, a small garden with an oak tree, an apple tree and a cherry tree. Planted as each of us were born, the oak for my eldest brother at the end of the house, the apple just behind the house for my middle brother, and the cherry blossom in the space between the dining room window and the wooden fence for me. I try to imagine the hope and anticipation that went into choosing and planting each tree.

My cherry blossom tree was cut down, quite casually, when I was in my late teens. It had grown too big, was troublesome, caused too much shadow. No one asked me about it, and in the overall picture of everything else that was happening, it seemed unimportant. But I remember it felt like something about my arrival was being erased.

The sound of an plane passing high overhead brings me back to now; soft breathing from the small person tucked in the bed beside me, and a teenager chatting on the phone in the room next door. I think I might plant a cherry blossom, here in my garden, high in the wicklow hills, when spring arrives. A symbol. The opposite of erased.