There as I sat it spoke to me, this wall of asymmetric cracks. Its faded, soaked cement remained. Its light red bricks answered back. Past these chips of aged white the blue sky hung with wispy cloud. A distant bird with creeping weeds through ancient windows spoke aloud. Here light enfolds these steps of prayer where new fresh grass is listening. The hedges kept with varied plants in waving breezes are glistening. This ruined wall tells its story of faded asymmetric glory.
Against the perimeter of my childhood backyard cluttered rows of privet hedges produced tiny ruby berries, easily crushed if stepped on. They always fell from the branches in the slightest trail of wind.
Cougars prowled my playground. My parents, hesitant to let me out alone, planted the bushes in the hopes the cougars would eat the Ligustrum ovalifolium and never return.
I knew the berries were toxic and could make me ***** more than what I consumed, a time bomb in my stomach. Mother said the poison could make me shiver harder than a winter day.
When, once, I raised a berry to my lips Mother plunged forward and slapped it out of my fingers, a strange mixture of anger and concern in her eyes. I was never to pick one again.
I didn’t understand the problem until I saw two cougars laying behind a privet— a mama and her cub no longer breathing in sync.