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Once the hammock ruled our garden.
It stretched between our cherry tree
And the strong, silent picket fence,
Presiding over the daisies.
I remember now its red and white stripes and
The fraying rough rope that burned our hands.
When wind chimes tinkled and lawnmowers roared,
You and I would lie in the hammock.
We inhaled the cherry blossoms’ sweet perfume,
Closing our eyes and thinking of Japan.
Sometimes you mixed lemonade from concentrate, and
My lips puckered at the sugar sweeter than any honey.
When school years passed and my feet grew bigger than yours,
Our deer legs dangled over the woven sides.
We rocked in the hammock’s embrace.
At night we told stories about the stars.
After you packed your violin and flew east,
My father cut down the cherry tree.
He never told me why, but he folded up the hammock
And stuffed it in the corner of our porch.
Sometimes when the rain drives down,
I press my nose against the window and stare at the hammock.
I bide my time and wait for the sunlit spring when
Bird calls ring from the cherry tree.
When you and I will lie in the hammock again.