The Family Tree


y parents’ living room is perfectly clean,
blinds drawn against the strengthening light of Spring.
My mother and I are discussing
my sister and whether she will
start a family now she is married.
I am never going to have children, still
I startle as my mother says
‘its not worth it, I wouldn’t do it again.’

Later when my parents are out shopping,
I wander round the garden, stopping
to admire the flowers, listen to the birds,
mourn the chopped down apple tree.


This post is part of a series on trees. Submit your tree features to snakeoilcure[at]gmail[dot]com.

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Juliet Wilson is an Edinburgh-based writer, conservation volunteer, and adult education tutor, teaching creative writing and birdwatching. She blogs at Crafty Green Poet (, tweets @craftygreenpoet and edits the online poetry journal Bolts of Silk ( This is her first contribution to Snake-Oil Cure.