Monday, February 15, 2021

My Hazel

image from

 My Hazel

“We are reminded of the fairies’ hazelnuts, in which

diamonds were concealed.”--Neville Cardus.

As an only child,

I would play beneath

our hazel plant.

It grew in the loving shade

of an ancient oak.

My family loved hazelnuts.

My mother would grind them up.

making a paste

that she smeared on her baked goods.

My father called it a hazel tree,

but it was more shrub than tree.

I was mysteriously drawn to it.

It became my special place,

my refuge and emotional bastion.

I would take my writer’s notebook

out there and compose poetry.

I called it Hazel, as my companion

and pretend sister.

One day my father

went off to War,

to fight the Nazis.

Six months later, an Army sedan

drove into the yard.

They told us

that my father had been killed.

I went out to the hazel wood

because a fire was in my head.

She held me until

the flames became ash.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub


brudberg said...

I love the take of Hazel being that comforting friend, and maybe also made something grow from the ashes of sorrow in the end.

Lucy said...

Oh wow, the reveal just takes the wind out of you. I also like the comfort aspects of the hazel wood; with it being a friend to help with grief, to diminish the fire that's swimming all throughout (the worst being the mind as we try to cope) that is bittersweet in the way it is told. Such a heartbreaking loss. said...

I can just picture the writer as a young person, sitting beneath the branches of this hazel shrub...comforted by the coziness and secrecy it provides. The ending is a solid slap back to reality. A jolting sadness.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is heartwrenchingly poignant, Glenn. The image of the Hazel comforting "until the flames became ash," is so powerful, so telling. 💝

JadeLi said...

The lonely child befriended by a tree. It's not farfetched. Between my sandbox and the plum tree I had all I needed. I'm glad Hazel was there for him.

Merril D. Smith said...

Such a sad, beautiful tale. This shows such tenderness for that poor lonely boy, and the comforting tree!

Kerfe said...

I like the way the entire family is woven together with the tree. The end is like a sudden lightning splitting it down the center.

Ron. Lavalette said...

Smoothly told tale, Mr B. I like the way it unfolds. Touching reality tale & fine use of prompt.

indybev said...

A great tale, well told, Glenn.

robkistner said...

This is stunning Glenn! Like a beautifully radiant punch to the gut. Damned well written my friend... yes!

Gillena Cox said...

Your comforting tree is lovely. Nice write

much love...

Kim M. Russell said...

A wonderful story, Glenn, and I love the quotation you found to complement it. I shall be looking for diamonds in hazelnuts now. Your opening paragraphs really appeal to the senses: the image of a young boy playing beneath a young hazel in the shade of an ancient oak and the scent of the baked goods, which is making me hungry – I haven’t eaten yet this morning because I’m enjoying the Prosery pieces so much. I love the way the lonely boy writes poetry in the companionship of his pretend sister, who comforts him when his father dies, such touching scenes.

ben Alexander said...

Glenn, this was utterly believable. Wow.


Ingrid said...

How unique and beautiful, the hazel tree as an imaginary sister who gave comfort in times of loss!

Helen said...

This is beautifully crafted prose .... the story engaging, producing deep emotion. Deep.

Kim Whysall-Hammond said...