Mom at the Apple Tree

  
Pooka sits on my chest as if she were a mother hen. I think she thinks, My girl is warm. My girl is my girl. 

I’m her girl. And she is my cat. Our possession of each other is split fifty-fifty. 

Drool hangs from her mouth. Looks like two clear, round, gooey fangs. Might be disgusting if we weren’t best friends. Let your drool pour, Pooka.

Away from the autumn cool, in the heat of home, the two of us lounge, spread out on the sofa. 

The house is close to silence. 

But for the walls. The pipes croak within. 

But for my brother. Upstairs in his room. Door closed, firmly. No Keep Out sign, but there may as well be one. Heavy, vibrating music sneaks through the wood of our home. From my brother’s bedroom.

My sister feeds her baby in the basement apartment. Down there, the shaking music could be a simple hum. Lulling my niece to sleep. She may dream of us, yet. She may dream.

My uncle is a ghost. He has left pennies around the house for me to find. And he has moved shoes. I haven’t seen him since I was an infant. I try.

Pooka’s drool makes contact with my shirt. ‘Eww.’ I think she thinks, No offense taken.

His tongue rolled out, licking the kitchen floor, the dog lay upon the tiles. His head snaps up when he hears his name.

‘Max!’ I call from the parlor. 

He doesn’t go for many walks. If I didn’t know much of the world, I would lay and taste the floor, also. He’s probably seen my uncle, recently. Pooka, too.

She stands on me, stretching. Hops down and waits for me to get up. I think the lady wants a late lunch. I think she thinks, I can’t feed myself. Your help is needed. Love you.

I stand, and Pooka starts for the kitchen. I see a penny at my feet. And my shoes aren’t where I left them. 

And my mom is in the front yard, where she tends to a growing apple tree. Someday she says I’ll carry the seeds. She told me, ‘When I’m gone, you’ll plant an apple tree.’

Someday I’ll carry seeds. I’ll grow the trees. 

It’s important to my mom. Don’t know why.

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