An Ode and An Apology

To Our Hackberry-

You have rough bark and sandpaper leaves

Smooth sweet berries

A stately trunk and a huge shade giving crown

What a magnificent species you are

Oh Sweet Sugarberry

Host to Hackberry butterfly larva

You provide a strong safe route for

Squirrels from roof to yard

A place for the anole lizard to “show his money”

And the grasshopper to rest

You plant yourself and

Thrive, next to most any other plant or structure…

You do not discriminate

But love the one you are with

Prolific, you are a survivor

I admire your tenacity

Hackberry Growing Up Through Chili Pequin Bush

Apologizing to Our Hackberry

                I  apologize for wanting to chop you down. In the 18 years we have lived in this house I can never keep up with all the yard work I feel a need to do. Weeding and pruning. Never ending. I have pruned you sneaky hackberries over and over again. You grow so fast, disguised among the other, wanted plants. I didn’t plant you and try to keep you all at bay. But, you, the one by the back porch: I let you grow at the request of my husband about 5 years ago. Now you are almost 30 feet tall and your crown is almost 20 feet, providing good shade for our back porch.  You are massive.

I apologize for cutting down your parents and aunts and uncles and siblings and kids.

Lately, my husband and I have regular conversations about whether or not to chop you down.

We haven’t decided yet. I apologize to you for even bringing this up. My personifying you and my guilt about the chopping thoughts may yet keep you alive. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Note: Versions of both the Ode and the Apology were written 4 years ago. After one Spring of our porch and patio furniture being drenched in sticky tree juice, we had finally had enough. We chopped. I couldn’t bear to part with all of the tree.  This is what is left in 2019:

Published by

bettymccreary7347

Born and raised in Central Texas. Spending time outside brings me joy and I love to share my observations. I also belong to two writing groups and enjoy researching my ancestors. I find people interesting, but Nature keeps me sane.

5 thoughts on “An Ode and An Apology”

  1. Hackberries line my fence and deck steps to my front door. Yes, they do give shade. however, they need to be trimmed annually to keep branches off the roof of my house, and the carport roof. They drop so many leaves that it takes several containers and many Fall weeks of gathering and taking to the compost pickup. One time of year there are black things, maybe seed which drop prolifically. Another time there are little fuzzy blooms fall off when dead. Right now the berries are abundant and the birds drop the shells they bread too, so more mess on my porch and deck stairs. I understand that they are now majestic shade trees but that they may be short-lived and they could fall over onto my roof. There are four medium and five large, a total of 9 trees.
    What to do? They sprout up everywhere and came with the property.
    I took out three from my back yard but these are between the two fences, my neighbors and mine. Thanks for letting me rant here!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s