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*** Miriam came home to find Elliot digging in their front yard. He had a sapling on one side of him and Trace on the other. Trace took over digging. “Is this your idea?” Miriam asked. Neither Elliot nor Trace responded. “It’s going to grow into something big and vibrant,” Elliot said. “What do you know about how to keep it alive?” Miriam asked. Elliot tried to get close to Miriam. She put her hands in her pockets. Elliot took a leaf in his fingers. “Trees have been living on their own forever,” he said. “Some are over one-thousand-years old. They’ve seen the rise and fall of empires.” “I guess there’s nothing to worry about, then,” Miriam said. *** Elliot put Trace in charge of the tree. It was not growing like it should. The climate was wrong for the tree, Miriam had tried to tell Elliot. She watched Trace from the kitchen window. She took an old

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photo of her and her husband and folded it up and tossed it in the trash. Elliot walked in with an axe. Miriam did not look at him. She asked if he ever felt like a ghost, just haunting a place. Trace kicked the tree, commanded it to grow. “I think the tree’s sick,” Elliot said. He picked up the axe. He went outside and Miriam followed. They all stood contemplating the tree. “What if everything’s fine?” Miriam asked. “Better to keep it from suffering,” Elliot said. Trace asked if he could do it. Miriam threw her hands up. Elliot showed Trace the way to swing the axe. “Keep swinging at it,” he said. “A bunch of cuts and slices will do it. It all adds up.” Trace hesitated, thinking. “Can the tree be a saint?” he asked. Elliot took Miriam’s hand. He drank from a can and she closed her jacket against the wind. “What’s it the saint of ?” Elliot asked. Trace swung and connected. He wrenched the axe from the tree. “It’s the patron saint of falling-down,” he said. “What about healing?” Miriam asked. “Or of the undead,” Elliot said. “It’s not time for that, yet,” Trace said.

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Apeiron Review | Summer 2015  

The summer issue of Apeiron Review, a Philadelphia-based literary magazine, is ready for you and a glass of your favorite beverage. Cool off...

Apeiron Review | Summer 2015  

The summer issue of Apeiron Review, a Philadelphia-based literary magazine, is ready for you and a glass of your favorite beverage. Cool off...