“The Last Obstruction”

A splendid magnolia tree
Stands in front
Of her kitchen window.
It is filled with soft pink flowers
In spring
Lovely fresh green leaves
All summer
Symmetrical bare branches
In winter.
The tree gives her pleasure
Each time she looks
Out of the kitchen window.

A persistent buzz
Outside the house
Brings her to the sink.
She looks through
The open glass.
Limbs and branches
Lay at the feet
Of a chain-saw wielding man
In a hard hat
Who whistles
As he lays bare
The lower trunk
Of the tree.

I was told
It obstructs the view
From the kitchen window
He says when she asks
Why?

She returns to the window.
A misshapen skeleton
Fills the space
Where the magnificent tree
Had pleased.

Take it down
She says.
And the man does
As he is told.

She looks out the window
And sees
The garden
Which grows
Behind the  spot
Where the tree had stood.
It obstructs the view.

Take it out
She says.
And the man does
As he is told.
Gone are the variegated dogwoods
The redwood bush
The dwarf crepe myrtle
The weigelas.

She looks out the window
At a lone cedar tree
Which obstructs the view.
Down with the cedar
She says.
And the thirty-year volunteer
Tops the compost pile.
Finally
The view is clear.

She looks across the empty yard
To the thick stand of trees
Which border
The neighbor’s land.
The view to the impenetrable forest
Is unobstructed.

She goes to the bedroom
Packs her bag
And leaves the house
Knowing that
With her departure
The last obstruction
To the view from the kitchen window
Has been removed.

(Written for dVersepoets, Open Link Night Week 71, November 20, 2012.)

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This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to “The Last Obstruction”

  1. brian miller says:

    ugh…excellent twist there in the end…i felt the death of each of those trees…her being the true obstruction in the end …master touch…and leaves us to ponder…

  2. wow! what an ending. I near cried for the poor trees and garden, so sad what humankind has done to our earth.

    • vbholmes says:

      Thanks for reading, Len. It is sad when beautiful plant material is removed. And it happens so often nowadays when developers desecrate old gardens with specimen plants without regard to preserving those treasures.

  3. jasmine calyx says:

    Oh my word, this is incredible.

  4. hedgewitch says:

    The feeling of having all that is meaningful and enjoyable stripped away is bad enough, but to do it yourself–or so I am reading–is even worse. I’m reminded of mental illness, or perhaps just a controlling spouse…whatever the cause, very compelling and vivid experience, reading this.

  5. ayala says:

    Wow…this is moving and thought provoking. Like Hedge I think of someone I know that had mental illness. Good write.

  6. billgncs says:

    touching, that our lives might be an obstruction to others, can be very sad.

  7. The woman felt pleasure from the tree and questioned why this was being done. I feel she got her revenge by having the rest of the trees destroyed and simply walked out.

  8. Sabio Lantz says:

    Nice ending. We are often our own obstruction.

  9. vbholmes says:

    How true, Sabio, how true. Liked your acrostic poem, “Jesus’ Exit”.

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