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Art Show: Conversations with Dead Poets

The Plum Tree

by Caren Goodrich

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Art: The Plum Tree by Artist Caren Goodrich
My grandmother, Anona McConaghy (1903-2000), was an artist and published poet. She was born in and lived her entire 97 years in Los Angeles. She lived in the same house the last 60 years of her life. For forty of those years, there was a special plum tree in the backyard. She wrote "The Plum Tree" upon the death of her husband of 60 years. The tree is gone now, and the backyard has given way to my family's remodeling project. This painting depicts how I remember it as a kid growing up in Bellflower, California.

--Caren Anona Goodrich

The Plum Tree by Anona McConaghy

The plum tree has blossomed again and again
Spinning white lace on the blue.
Branches have bent with the purple wealth
Before summer season was through.
How long since the young man had set it there
A wand no more thick than his thumb?
Three generations of children have watched
And vied for the first purple plum.
Two lifetimes of bearing and giving fruit
A natural and God-planned thing.
Now tree and planter, both crowned with white,
Have greeted their final spring.


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