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  • shawnmariespry


Updated: Jul 19, 2021

(Thank you to our dear daughter, Bailey June, for sharing her poetry.)


For Jake

Red. The color of your little boots, feet on the wrong legs Poppa called it.

I run down the back steps, the ones dad painted how many times?

Poppas there, on the circular stone at the landing of those worn steps and I leap for him

He’s young with that grin, you know the one

And then he’s gone, I’ve leapt through him and I haven’t held on tight enough

He’s in the next world

The sorrows too great

So I run to the lilacs

There's comfort there

Although the blossoms haven’t yet appeared

We’ve been awaiting them

As we have every year

Since we knew they were for us

Was this where my romance with plants began?

We are playing in the heart of the lilac bush

The one behind the garage, before dad cut it down

I begged him not to

I understand now what pruning is

I’m almost a botanist

But we are there, now, and you’re wearing your little red boots

And I want to stay there forever with you

In our little lilac home

We have pots and mud balls

We could last 10 years

The season of lilacs

Going out without a coat

Before the last frosts

That dip in the driveway

The one in front of the basketball net

In front of the lilacs

Whose ephemeral blossoms conjure up such sentiment

Of Poppa's arms, the color purple, and your little red boots


The Love Tree

We rounded the bend in the pines, reached the base of the grass swept hill and were met by her. An evening shimmer of frosty air and the silhouette from a blotted sun announced simultaneously her age and grace. She was here before any of us were a thought. “That tree was my first love,” I said to him without turning. My eyes fixed on the lightning scars, we approached her. “She cradled us in a way no human mother could,” she told us things and confirmed our brightest dreams and deepest fears. She let us carve our names and loves in her skin and sent us home with spirits filled, us, having glimpsed the top of the world from her branches. We’ll mourn her when she’s gone like the grandmother she became. “Unless she remains, when we are gone.”


Bailey June Spry is the first born of Scott and Shawn Spry, born in Pontiac, Michigan, raised in Waterford, Michigan, now living in Kipahulu, Hawai’i. She loves much: her family, Dege O'Connell, friends, planting and harvesting in rich volcanic soil, fine coffee and wine, certain fungi and algae, among many others. May she share more of her beautiful musings with us here in the future. (Below, Bailey in 1996 and 2021)

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Judy Allen
Judy Allen
18 thg 7, 2021

Now, I know the "love tree!" 😀 Beautiful writing!

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