The Kumquat Tree

My grandfather is a kumquat tree, a towering six feet that seemed to stretch from earth to sky. He’s the sour juice dripping down my chin, the scrunched expression on my face. He’s the laugh on the breeze that followed the fruit’s surprisingly bitter taste.

My grandfather is an Easter egg hunt, buried treasure hidden just for me. He’s eggshells that I peeled, the winnings that I gained. He’s the reason I never lost despite the fact that I couldn’t play.

My grandfather is a shadow, a fleeting memory of black spectacles wrapped in tattered flannel. He’s the faint whiff of stale tobacco that wafts from room to room, the aching creak of a broken chair that sits empty near the fireplace.

My grandfather is a chain, a metal link to my mother. He’s the bond to be severed, the goodbye wave in the driveway. He’s the promise that I broke, the hard swallow of regret.

My grandfather is a kumquat tree buried six feet deep within the earth.

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