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1 Apr, 2023

When My Parents Were Apple Trees

UTF Creative writing image for JW workshop

Long listed for the 2023 Urban Tree festival writing competition

In the summer of my thirteenth year 
I made a hammock from old sheets,

       knotted it between two apple trees 
       that stood in our small backyard.

Both gnarled, one propped at the hip, 
together, they bore my weight

       as I drowsed through the thick 
       secret rustle of hot afternoons

a notebook across my knees,
each page a fretwork of shadow and light.

       I scowled away Mum, bearing juice 
       and Dad when he checked the knots.

It was to the trees I whispered 
and they bent their heads to listen

       as I gently swung, an unripe fruit 
       carried like one of their own -

green and troubled beneath the skin, 
a dark starring of pips at the heart.

       When the windfalls came, I tasted 
       my own wasp-sharpness in their flesh

until Mum showed me how to bake them - 
just a little sugar, a gentle heat.

  • Read other longlisted entries from the 2023 Urban Tree Festival competition
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  • APA style reference

    Gatehouse, V. (2023). When My Parents Were Apple Trees. walk · listen · create.

    2023 Urban Tree festival Long list of the "Secrets of the Trees" themed writing competition.

    Collection · 37 items
    2023 Urban Tree festival
    long list
    writing competition
    creative writing

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    Added by Kel Portman

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