My trip to the Museum.
The bold face of a wizened old apple tree stakes its claim in the foreground
of the painting. I see the early morning dew settle in to the green moss
straddling the tree's roots. Before me, a garrulous boy and a quiet
woman with a sweet face press initials into the tough skin of an aging tree
trunk with an old pocketknife.
Weather fades the carvings but not the memory of the tree's visitors.
The tree is a keepsake, a monument to laughter and promises
kept and broken. Recalling arbitrary gifts and joyful events that were not intended
to last. The sun warms the tree's countenance. Its fragile blossoms
bear witness to its long history of carrying fruit to term, keeping secrets,
and shedding its leafy progeny each fall.