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Bird Tree
by Lesley C. Weston

art by Marty D. Ison
I lead my husband into the park. The sun is just starting to go down. The light is perfect, soft and rose-gray on the river, brighter in the patch directly above our heads. I pull him under the tree and I ask, Do you know what this is? He looks at me with that combination of amusement and condescension that always makes me want to smack him. Itís a tree, he says, looking up at the leaves forming an umbrella over us. Yes, but just shut up and listen, I tell him, gruffer than I intended. He starts to say something else but I cover his mouth with my hand and will him to be silent.

I stand perfectly still, like that, holding my palm against his lips. When he finally hears them, he nibbles my skin. We look into each otherís eyes as the birds nestled above us all say goodnight to each other at the same time. He looks at me, as surprised as the first time we kissed. I look at him and forgive him.

A stroller squeaks to a stop outside the tent of the tree limbs. A woman brings her hands together, a loud clap, like a shotgun. The birds swarm out, a cloud of black whirling away.

We leave the treeís protection, hand in hand.

We glare at the young mother. We stare at the fat, happy child, who is screaming his head off, Do it again, Do it again.


All content in SmokeLong Quarterly copyright 2003-2014 by its authors.



Lesley C. Weston was consumed by theater for years and now finds meaning in creating characters with the pen instead of the stage.

Read the interview.
Issue Nine (June 15, 2005): Irvin Hammers a Cat House by Mike Young «» In the Dust by Joseph Young «» Pet Snail by Sam Vaknin «» Living in Sin by Stephen Ausherman «» China by Michelle Garren Flye «» In Too Deep by Kay Sexton «» How We Can Be Saved by Max Ruback «» Eros by Henry Stanton «» Saft by Jai Clare «» The Woman Who Sold Her Flute to Buy a Cabbage by Maggie Shearon «» Bird Tree by Lesley C. Weston «» Pornography by Steve Almond «» Brisket by Stuart Dybek «» A Deep Desire for Blue by Alexandra Fox «» The Names of Things by Cami Park «» Interviews: Mike Young «» Joseph Young «» Sam Vaknin «» Stephen Ausherman «» Michelle Garren Flye «» Kay Sexton «» Max Ruback «» Henry Stanton «» Jai Clare «» Maggie Shearon «» Lesley C. Weston «» Steve Almond «» Stuart Dybek «» Alexandra Fox «» Cami Park «» Cover Art "Groom Left Waiting at the Altar" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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