After the Fall of a Pear Tree Overladen with Fruit by Mark Czanik


After the Fall of a Pear Tree Overladen with Fruit 

The birds that used to gather and sing in our pear tree 

kept coming back that summer after its fall. 

I used to watch them from my window 

swooping down into the back garden, 

little stroboscopic streaks of colour 

that would stop and hover confusedly 

when they found only empty space 

in the pear tree’s place, before darting off 

in search of somewhere else 

to rest their fiery wings. 

How would that feel? I wondered. 

To come home one day and find nothing. 

No passage in which to slip off your shoes, 

no kettle waiting to be filled,

no staircase to take three at a time,   

no records waiting to be played,    

or treasure chest of comics in the secret cave 

under your bed. No bed even.

Just a sudden absence in a row of houses 

where your own once stood. 

Whose door would you knock on first?



Mark Czanik’s recent poems, stories and artwork can be found in Riptide, Ropes, Porridge, Pennine Platform, Morphrog, and 3AM. He was brought up in the sweet borderlands of Herefordshire, and now lives in Bath.

22 June 2022