Saturday, March 23, 2024

Still Life with Robin: A Farewell Ode to Stumpy, the Listserv's Favorite Little Cherry Tree (Soon to Meet His Mulcher)

 by Peggy Robin

With our sad admiration, we present this tweet* from the Library of Congress on the impending death of the valiant little cherry tree known to this Listserv** -- and now to the whole world -- as "Stumpy."

Library of Congress

The Library dedicates this poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón to Stumpy, who will live forever in our hearts. 🌸💗

Instructions on Not Giving Up

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living
despite the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.

From The Carrying by Ada Limón (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Ada Limón. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions, .

#stumpy #tidalbasin #cherryblossoms



* In keeping with the pledge I made soon after the Musk-Rat declared that Twitter will now be called brand "X," I keep up my boycott of that obnoxious brand name and continue to refer to it as Twitter, with the noun for a post, "a tweet," and the action of posting, "tweeting."

** Stumpy has been featured on the Cleveland Park Listserv five times since we first learned of The Little Cherry Tree That Could, in the final days of March of last year. Here's that first column, posted on April 1, 2023: 

We had no idea then, that Stumpy had only one year left to live.


Still Life with Robin is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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