My Tiny Star

Mo Daley

Twenty years ago, the Star Magnolia was a mere bush in the yard when we moved in
My boys were barely seven, ten, and twelve
They zoomed around the yard, throwing any and every kind of ball they could find
The tiny Star Magnolia served as a hurdle for their running games,
Losing leaves when they jumped too soon.

We took family trips over spring break- D. C., Colorado, and California.
The fragrant Star Magnolia would bloom each spring whether we saw it or not.
But truth be told, I was always heartbroken when I saw the withered and browned petals strewn about the lawn
When we pulled into the driveway after a vacation.

The boys grew.
Soon the Star Magnolia served as a backdrop for graduation and prom pictures,
Casting just enough shade on my growing giants.

The tiny Star has now grown to over twelve feet in height
And even my six-and-a-half-foot tall, little man can no longer jump it.
Since there was nowhere to go this spring,
I watched from the kitchen window as her petals fluttered and fell to the ground
But I thought of the new little boy, the son of my son,
Who will play in the Star’s shade for so many years to come.


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Bridge the Distance: An Oral History of COVID-19 in Poems Copyright © 2021 by Mo Daley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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