The tree was well past its prime and I can't remember it ever bearing more than one or two apples in a season -- and those weren't very good. That didn't matter, though, because it was a great climbing tree.
My siblings and I would climb way up and then out onto the massive branches to look down on those who were playing on the ground.
I remember sitting up there for hours just listening to the sounds of summer, or getting lost between the pages of a favorite book.
In the mornings, the most amazing little blue bird would visit me. He sat on the closest branch to my bedroom window in the old apple tree. It always fascinated me, the way he just sat there staring at me while I stared at him. I pretended to have conversations with him, wondering what it would be like to be a bird.
Then one day, during the summer I turned eleven, we had a huge thunderstorm. I always loved storms, still do, but I remember the wind howled and the lightning and thunder put on an epic show.
Suddenly, there was a loud C-R-A-C-K. A bolt of lightning had hit the old apple tree and split it right down the middle. Both halves lay across from each other in the yard. To this day, I still don't know how either of the halves missed hitting our house.
Anyway, this poem for children came from those summers with the little blue bird and the old apple tree ...
The Blue Birdby CJ Heck
If I could be an animal
I think I’d like to be
just like the little blue bird
that’s sitting in my tree.
I look at him and wonder
what it’s like when you can fly.
I’ll bet the world looks beautiful
from up there in the sky.
There would be no traffic jams
or stop signs in the air.
No bumpy roads with potholes
would ever be up there.
Each night I wish upon the stars
that I could be a bird
but it never ever happened,
so I don't think they heard.
But I’d miss my mom and dad
and who’d be there at night
to help me brush my teeth
and tuck me in real tight?
He looks at me each morning
from the same branch in my tree.
While I sit wishing I was him,
is he wishing he was me?
(from the book, "Barking Spiders 2", by CJ Heck
Buy at Amazon
"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck