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L. G. Figgins

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Full Moon In Olive Tree
by L. G. Figgins

Monday, June 26, 2006
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by L. G. Figgins
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           >> View all 230

An old Russian olive tree
adjacent to the garage
had these branches
that grew up over the roof,
a species that has silver leaves
that kind of glow in moonlight
It was the same tree that Dad
had threatened to cut down
to keep my older sister
from windowing to freedom
out of the upstairs bedroom
we shared, when the moon
was a big white globe
and the crickets chanted her down
"No Daddy, please!" I protested
and he relented,
Understanding every living thing
had a soul to me
being the female chip
off the old block that I was

Sis was eight years my senior
and according to tradition,
a wild thing free-spirited
from the womb
despite a private education
As penance for my contribution
to the delinquency of a minor,
having intervened
in the sentence of death
on that symbol of deliverance,
Mom gave me the duty
of apprehending love letters
from under Che's mattress,
the ones from the same boy
whose footprints
she had scooped out of the snow
that previous winter
and then placed in the freezer
Yes, such was her passion
for Daniel, the love of her life

This was to be a breech of trust
never forgotten
and revenge was visited on me
in various ways through the years,
despite my sister's fierce love for me
She said it was my interference
that put an obstacle between true love,
Mom forbidding her to see him again
after reading those pages
I found their prom pictures
and dance book yellowed with age
as was Che's corsage,
the dried remains of an orchid
with a pearl pin that pricked my finger
and drew blood,
in a box on the top shelf
of the upstairs closet--
whose inside door is still decorated
with the round romantic script
of my sister's handwriting
declaring her love in ink
Oh he was a handsome boy,
tall with chiseled features
and Che was a genuine beauty
in her beehive hairdo
and gold brocade prom dress
Two years later, after graduation,
Dan went off to be a Marine, I think
What put me to remembrance
was that same olive tree
wildly overgrown and needing a trim
I asked my brother Gordon
to do the deed
and before I could stop him
he took the chain saw and severed
the tree from it's trunk
"God I feel like a murderer!"
 he boomed
being another chip off the old block
"I just wanted the branches cut back!"
I yelled, feeling like Judas
after having given the kiss of death
To make an long story-poem
short, that olive tree trunk
has been sending out shoots like crazy
On those branches
are half-inch spines that have gotten me
good on more than one occasion,
pricking me to bleed when unaware
The lumber harvested from Ol' Russian,
the grain being fine and beauteous,
has since become a dining table
by my brother's hand
They say that life is linear
but I believe it's as circular as that moon


(c) Linda Gayton 2006


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Reviewed by Chrissy McVay 7/1/2006
Wow, beautiful story. Though you're not the first to be a 'tattle tale' and regret it later. I have two sisters, only we had to use a rope to climb out the window...
Reviewed by Bennett 6/27/2006
I believe that too my fellow poet. You have some stories in your poems that just come to life when we read them here at the den.
Reviewed by Pierre Ortega 6/27/2006
What a great story! Isn't it wonderful how sometimes you can look at something so unnoticeable to others and relive so much of your life through it? Your poems are true art. Really enjoyed this. Pierre.
Reviewed by Nordette Adams 6/27/2006
You really do make a visit to your den worth it, Linda. :-) Gifted, lady.

Hi, I dropped back by this evening. I was at work when I first commented. Linda, I really like this narrative poem. You have a beautiful storytelling style, wonderful voice. Some lines made me chuckle out loud, and like any really good story, this stayed with me and that's why I came back. :-)
Reviewed by Joseph* OneLight* 6/27/2006
How nice to read this precious piece about the Circle of Life. Reminds me of another story by Shel Silverstein called "The Giving Tree", which is still one of my favourite "children's stories".

Love & Light,
Reviewed by E T Waldron 6/26/2006
What a "tour de force" Brilliant work and the visuals are a masterpiece! Thanks for sharing Lin, I got to know you a bit better!;-)

Reviewed by Martin Hebert 6/26/2006
~~Linda~~this is a remarable of true art..wonderful of you to share this~~

Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 6/26/2006
Excellent yet again!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by A PAX 6/26/2006
love love love this lin G
olives, olive oil, olive brach, and tree, personally
have a special meaning for me
I even dream of it

this is a great story
and moral
pax A
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 6/26/2006
poignant read
Reviewed by Crystal Silver Angel (Reader) 6/26/2006
Reviewed by A. Santo 6/26/2006
This is one of the most entertaining pieces I have read in a while Lin. :) It truly is. I don't think I've ever heard of any one who scooped footprints out of the snow and stuck them in a goodness. Your family was a cast of beautiful characters, wise beyond their years.

I also find that the Ol' Russian is still serving your family well. What better place than to sit down at the table with loved ones to share such special stories as this.

Good day to you dear one. :)
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 6/26/2006
An excellent look back in verse, Lin; well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Peter Paton 6/26/2006
What goes round, must come up again.....just as day follows night...
Magnificent and poignant essay on the vicissitudes of life
Reviewed by George Carroll 6/26/2006
The last sentence sums it up perfectly. Mesmerizing story/poem.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 6/26/2006
I believe it is, too, Linda, and this is a truly marvelous Ode to that Circle of Life.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 6/26/2006
No doubt that we live with the "mirror effect" throughout our lives. You penned an excellent remembrance poem here in "Full Moon In Olive Tree." Would that the tree could speak. Oh. I forgot. It can, and did, speak through your words.

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