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BAMBOO SHOOTS
Works of fiction and poetry by friends of Bamboo Ridge Press.

THIS IS A YEAR OF THE PIG CONTEST ENTRY

Host with a G

Published by JIM HARSTAD | Friday, September 06, 2019 5:40 AM


Word prompt: Ghost


My ironwood tree is a ghost. My habit of calling it MY tree has made it the ghost of an idea I had nearly twenty years ago when I planted it in front of our new home. Sort of invented it. Let it in, you might say. The right one, one always hopes.

That was after a tricky extrication with a bit of root and a pinch of soil from Wa’ahila Ridge. And that was followed by months of hit-or-miss backyard clay pot nurture while the new home emerged before it. Incredibly, they both made it.

When I finally replanted the healthy baby from its pot, I clearly envisioned the way its muscular lower limbs now support the lacy green, tendril-fed corona that shades the scabrous shoog of gnarly trunk just aching to go ineluctably rogue. Yeah, well you ain’t goin’ ineluctably nowheres I and my trusty pole saw don’t want you to go, Sir or Dame Ironwood. Indulge me for just a while yet, if you will. Be my ghost-in-plain-sight, the perfect embodiment of my idea of a companionable tree servant. Be my slave. My bitch. My arboreal paramour.

And, by the way, I know about the others, the ghosts-from-another-place-and-time. I hear them knocking on the walls at all hours, and I know it is you who calls them. They are ready, those spirits, those Wa'ahila Ridge Rovers. But no. You are still my beautiful ghost, my tree ideal and eternal, my botanical intercession, maybe. My karma, perhaps?

Whatever else, wholly your buddy, your friend, your host. Not yet your ghost.



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