she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar
–Michael Donaghy, from his poem, Liverpool
Lili remembers the family story, where her Grandmother Char’s grandmother planted the ginkgo tree the day Char was born. The sapling, a scrawny thing that grew with a misshapen trunk, was like her, misshapen. Char remembers how her aunts surveyed the tree and assessed its chances of survival. Her young, wizened self, which is often the way with sickly children, knew they were really talking about her.
Nobody in the family except Great Aunt Zi thought she’d reach adulthood. Aunt Zi baked strawberry-rhubarb tarts and served them with peppermint tea. She placed special poultices on Char’s back; afterwards planting them at the ginkgo’s feet.
As Char’s spine straightened, the ginkgo sprouted a second trunk, this one aimed at the stars. Its twisted trunk withered. When Aunt Zi passed, she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar. Lili still rubs the scar’s cool, smooth surface.
Sarah is today’s host of dVerse’ Prosery. Sarah says:
Write a prose piece in 144 words, including the line, “she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar.”